Community rallies behind Millersburg student fighting brain cancer

A screenshot of the fundraising page set up for 16-year-old Eric Erdman.

MILLERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Donations and messages of support are pouring in for a Millersburg Area High School student who’s fighting brain cancer.

In a posting on the popular fundraising website GoFundMe, relatives of Eric Erdman write the 16-year-old was diagnosed with Grade III ependymoma, an aggressive and malignant kind of brain tumor.

Doctors removed the tumor July 8, according to the posting, leaving Eric with limited vision and hearing on his left side. But his treatment journey is just beginning.

“We desperately need your help,” Bob and Rita Ruch write on the fundraising page.

Eric, who plays football for Millersburg, will need radiation treatments, they write. That will require the family to relocate for several weeks to be closer to one of a few clinics, likely in another state.

“The treatments, as well as the physical therapy, medication and lodging, are not completely covered under insurance,” the pair write. “These are just a few of the financial burdens our daughter and her boys are going to have to endure. These financial burdens will continue for years to come.”

Eric’s family posted the fundraiser on Thursday asking for $85,000. As of Monday morning, the page had raised more than $20,000.

“Keep up the fight Eric!” wrote one donor on the site. “We are praying for you. Stay strong!” wrote another.

In a picture posted to the site, several Penn State football players gather around Eric’s hospital bed shortly after his diagnosis.

“They each offered words of encouragement to Eric, saying, ‘you got this brother’, ‘fight the fight’ and ‘don’t stop,'” Bob and Rita Ruch write. “They really lifted Eric’s spirit and they helped him to refocus on the fight ahead of him.”

“Our family is fighting this with prayers, strength and a positive attitude,” they write.

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