The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student battles rare form of cancer, seeks assistance from Aggie family

Communication+sophomore+Steven+Anderson+is+raising+money+to+help+pay+for+his+chemotherapy+treatment.
Photo by Via GoFundMe

Communication sophomore Steven Anderson is raising money to help pay for his chemotherapy treatment.

What Steven Anderson initially thought was an unusual back pain caused by his bed turned out to be a sign of something much worse.
The communication sophomore and proud Aggie is currently battling stage 4 renal medullary carcinoma at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. This rare form of non-clear cell kidney cancer has metastasized to other areas of his body, but it hasn’t stopped him from doing what he loves: making art. 
Anderson likes to create short stories, poetry, scripts and drawings as well as play and write music. He is currently working on a graphic novel, and before taking a hiatus from school, he was planning to create an organization for artists around campus. 
“I like to write rap because it’s poetry itself,” Anderson said. “If I could sing, I would probably be a blues singer.”
In addition to his art and school work, Anderson is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, has served as vice president for the campus NAACP chapter and was a member of Aggie Black Male Connect and the Distinguished Gentleman’s Club. Anderson planned to run for senate.  
“It’s people that you won’t even know that will help you as if you were their own brother, or their own son, or their own dad or big brother or something, just because you’re part of that brotherhood,” Anderson said about his fraternity brothers. “It’s crazy how connected it all is.”
While Anderson has never been the type of person to ask for help, he started a GoFundMe page so he could pay for his chemotherapy treatment.
“My friends call me a hermit because rather than go out or something, I’d rather just stay in my room and draw or write some poetry or something,” Anderson said. “I just tend to myself, stay out of everybody’s way. I don’t like putting my weight on many people because growing up I went through a whole bunch. I was kicked out of the house when I was like 13, so I was on my own for a long time just dealing with life the best way I could.”
He said after insurance, a single round of chemotherapy will still cost thousands of dollars. A perspective research article published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and supported by MD Anderson Cancer Center, among others, shows that Anderson’s situation is not unusual. The prices of cancer treatments average 20 to 30 percent for out-of-pocket expenses, equaling $20,000 to $30,000 a year, which is almost half of the average annual household income in the United States. 
“I think the biggest takeaway is life can happen to anybody and knowing Steven, Steven is a fighter through and through,” said Gentill Abdulla, physics senior and member of Alpha Phi Alpha. “There’s nothing that can really strike fear in him. He always sees everything as something he can overcome, but even for him it’s something that takes a toll on you. It’s hard to realize that despite going through everything, despite coming from the hood, and growing up and conquering that, you can still get blindsided by something completely out of your control.”
Brandon Cummings, civil engineering senior and chapter president of Alpha Phi Alpha, is urging the Aggie family to support Anderson during his battle for his life.  
“I don’t want him to be a part of Silver Taps if we can help him now,” Cummings said. “Also, I want the Aggie family to come out and step out of the box now and try and help him, whether it be words of encouragement because those are well needed as well, prayers, and the GoFundMe of course. The funds are a big part of it right now for us because we’re trying to make sure he can afford the chemotherapy for his wellness.”
Anderson is asking for prayers and help with his GoFundMe campaign. 
“I don’t ask for much at all, I just try to stay in my own lane, try to be a ghost,” Anderson said. “But prayers or anything or a simple sharing of the GoFundMe would be a blessing for me.” 
Anderson’s GoFundMe can be found at gofundme.com/steven-anderson-cancer-treatment.

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  • Aggies in Alpha Phi Alpha pose for their chapter photo in the Memorial Student Center. The fraternity has been raising support for their fraternity brother Steven Anderson

    Photo by Provided

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