How Kevin Sharp Lost
Health Battle after a Long
Cancer is deadly, but equally deadly are the so-called advanced treatments which
are used to cure it. It seems unfair, but when you have cancer it isn’t just the
disease you need to worry about but how you get it treated. The tragic death of the
once hugely successful country singer Kevin Sharp, who had three top 5 country
singles to his name, has brought attention to Ewing’s sarcoma, a kind of bone
cancer, and the aggressiveness of some cancer treatments that may cure the cancer
after months and months of sheer physical agony but cause potentially fatal
What Is Ewing’s Sarcoma?
Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer which affects the bone or the soft tissue,
most commonly the thigh bone (femur), pelvis, arm bone (humerus), collar bone and
ribs. Males have a slightly greater risk of contracting Ewing’s sarcoma and the
disease usually strikes between 10 to 20 years of age, the stage between childhood
and early adulthood.
The usual symptoms are localized pain, which is sporadic, in the affected bone. The
pain could get quite intense depending on the location and progression of the tumor.
Swelling also occurs, and is visible if the tumor is situated on a bone which is near
the body surface such as the knee. But when the tumor sets itself up in places which
are further to the interior of the body such as the pelvis, the swelling may not be
seen from outside. The intensity of the bone pain could vary as well. There could also
be symptoms displaying inflammatory systemic illness such as fatigue, anemia,
intermittent fevers, etc.
Kevin’s Fight at a Young Age
Kevin Sharp was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma when he was a senior in high
school in the late 1980s after complaining of fatigue, pain and dizziness. By the time
the cancer was detected, it had spread to Sharp’s lungs as well. The prognosis was
that he had very slim chances of survival. Kevin did not submit to the disease
though, but decided to fight it out.
And fight it out he did for two very rough years when he underwent chemotherapy
and radiation. He even allowed experimental treatment to be carried out on him just
to win the fight against this disease. Oncologists treating cancer patients carry many
hopes and aspirations on their shoulders when they embark on surgeries to remove
cancerous tumors and provide other treatment for those in their care. Their efforts
include copious research which usually involves medical transcription of audio and
video resources. The transcribed material is of considerable significance in terms of
future studies and medical research that is carried out to find effective treatment
options for patients like Ewing.
In 1990 Ewing’s cancer was well into the remission stage. The miracle had happened
and Sharp was cured. Those years shaped the man he became and made him
mature, as if he wasn’t mature already in deciding at such a young age to brave the
disease and fight it rather than letting go.
Cancer Brought Him to David Foster
But there was something else that happened in those years which would change his
life – his meeting with the multiple Grammy Award-winning music producer David
Foster, arranged through the Make a Wish Foundation that grants the wishes of
children with life-threatening diseases. As a result, he cemented a bond that would
help him kick-start his music career while also becoming a lifelong campaigner of the
Make a Wish Foundation.
Music Career Kicks off with a Bang
The friendship with Foster gave Sharp vital insight into how to become a successful
singer. Following his cure, Sharp created a demo tape and sent it to Foster and also
to other reality shows. With Foster’s help Sharp got signed in to Asylum Records in
1996 and the rest is history. That was the year of the release of his first album
“Measure of a Man”, which had three US top five singles including “Nobody Knows”, a
cover of the song by Tony Rich. This song remained No. 1 in the Billboard country
hits chart for four weeks. He also achieved Gold sales of the album in the USA and
Canada. This was the glorious episode of Sharp’s life, a period he received because
of his decision to fight the cancer and not succumb to it or consider it his fate. It was
also the time for receiving various award nominations such as Academy of Country
Music’s “New Male Vocalist”, American Music Awards’ “Favorite New Country Artist,”
Country Music Association/SRO’s “New Touring Artist of the Year”, TNN/Music City
News Awards’ “Male Star of Tomorrow”, and “Best New Country Video” from
Billboard Magazine. The awards he did pick up were “Sexiest Man” by the
Sacramento News and Review and “Rising Male Video Star of the Year”.
Everyone Wanted a Piece of Kevin
Indeed, Sharp tasted success astronomically. He believed that he was living one
dream after another. He also toured the nation as part of his responsibilities as a
motivational speaker for Make a Wish Foundation. His amazing struggle and victory
over the deadly disease was also the subject of stories in various publications such
as USA Today, Los Angeles Times and People Magazine as well as other media
outlets such as “Good Morning America”, “Entertainment Tonight” and “LIVE With
Regis and Kathy Lee”. Hollywood studios were also vying to make a television movie
based on his life and career.
Emergency Surgery in 1998
But that period of health and professional success did not last. Much of the bones in
his hip were replaced by metal rods because of the damage caused by the cancer.
This began to give him trouble and in 1998 Sharp was hospitalized for emergency
surgery after collapsing backstage during the Country Awards ceremony of TNN
Music City News.
More Albums and an Autobiography
This was followed by a period of health again, and he brought out another album,
“Love Is” with Asylum Records, but it hardly tasted the success of his first album and
Asylum finally dropped him. Undeterred, Sharp continued with his singing and
motivational speaking assignments and worked on his book, “Tragedy’s Gift –
Surviving Cancer: The Kevin Sharp Story” which was released in 2004 and detailed
his struggles against the disease in his high school years. He was signed up with
Cupit Records and released his third album, “Make a Wish”, in 2005. But he was well
past the peak of success he had when he started out, back in 1996.
Major Stomach Issues Caused by Rough Cancer
His maladies weren’t over as well. Starting from 2008 Sharp went through severe
stomach problems. The rough treatment which had brought his Ewing’s sarcoma to
the remission stage began to take its toll on his body. It turned out that the cancer
treatment he’d had nearly 15 years ago had caused severe ulcers to develop in his
stomach which actually created a scar tissue blocking the passage between the
stomach and the small intestine. As a result he would throw up anything he ate, and
it was only when this condition worsened over 6 months, and after nearly 40 pounds
of weight loss, that it was correctly detected. By this time the only option was to
remove a considerable part of his stomach through surgery.
More Leg Problems - the Brink of Amputation
The surgery helped him to recover from his condition and he started gaining weight,
embarking on his singing and motivational speaking projects. But in 2011 Sharp
encountered more problems in his leg. In fact one of his legs had a dead bone which
broke as a result of severe infection, probably a legacy of his earlier cancer.
Antibiotics could not manage to contain the infection and multiple surgeries had to
be performed and even amputation was suggested though, thankfully, it did not
have to be performed.
Stomach Issues Return for Final Salvo
But by around 2013 the stomach issues were back and he started out once again on
a long battle against his maladies. On April 19, 2014 Kevin Sharp lost that battle at
his mother’s home in Fair Oaks, Northern California at age 43, a week after he was
discharged from hospital where he had remained for 10 weeks. The officially quoted
reason for his death was complications arising as a result of past cancer treatment,
stomach surgeries and digestive issues. The only good thing to come out of this,
according to his sister Mary Huston who had taken care of him, is that there is no
more pain and suffering he’d have to endure.
For the other cancer victims and their loved ones out there, the question remains –
why haven’t all the heralded achievements in medicine failed to create a convincing
cure for this dreadful disease? All they’ve managed to do is, in many cases, because
other kinds of serious or even fatal harm to the body while attacking the cancer cells.
About The Author
MTS Transcription Servics (MTS) is an established medical transcription
outsourcing company in the US, offering comprehensive transcription solutions for
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