Former ESPN reporter Edward Aschoff had stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in his lungs when he died on Christmas Eve.
Aschoff’s fiancée shared the news Wednesday, saying they were not aware that he had the illness until a lung biopsy was performed after his passing.
“This is an aggressive type of cancer that is usually undetectable until it is very advanced,” Katy Berteau wrote on Aschoff’s Twitter account.
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Aschoff died on Dec. 24, which was his 34th birthday. His family previously said pneumonia and Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH, contributed to his death.
Berteau explained that pneumonia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can trigger HLH, a rare condition where the immune system begins to attack tissues and organs.
“All of this combined is what led to his very rapid decline those last few days, and ultimately his passing,” Berteau wrote.
She added that she shared the information to help others understand what happened.
“I hope this information helps people in dealing with this tragedy,” Berteau shared. “It has helped me knowing that his passing was inevitable, and I’m at least grateful he didn’t have to go through the painful treatment and drawn out process of battling the disease.”