Lansing native Ethan Halverson and his family working through his diagnosis and treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Benefit event this Saturday

Cousins Ethan Halverson (left) and Zach Halverson (right) display the Benefit Gun that has now seemingly come "full circle" in helping raise funds to defray medical expenses incurred with the treatment of cancer for both young men. The gun, a Remington 721 rifle, was originally gifted by the pair's grandfather, Harvey Halverson, to a benefit event for Zach in 2005. Now, after circulating through a number of other benefit events, the Benefit Gun will return to Lansing at the June 24 benefit event for Ethan, who has also been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Submitted photo.

by B.J. Tomlinson

Last August, in the fall of 2016, while in Iowa City attending the University of Iowa, Ethan Halverson didn’t feel well. Ethan is a 2012 graduate of Kee High School in Lansing and the son of Marty and Faye Halverson of Lansing.
"Not really sick, just not like himself,” said his mother, Faye. Ethan then noticed swollen lymph glands that became lumps in his neck and upper chest.

On first examination, the doctors adopted a wait-and-see treatment plan, thinking perhaps the symptoms indicated a virus. But when the condition did not improve they ratcheted up their diagnostic options to include CT scans, ultrasounds and lab work. As a result of that further testing, in November of last year Ethan was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a malignant cancerous growth of cells in the body's lymphatic system.

Coincidently, Ethan’s cousin, Zach Halverson, son of Dan and Genette Halverson and a 2002 graduate of Kee High School, was also diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2004, also during his college educational career. Zach is currently in remission. Faye said Zach’s symptoms were different from Ethan’s when he was diagnosed, but doctors may be conducting a study to see if the first cousins share a similar genetic code.

Since Ethan's diagnosis last fall, the University of Iowa math major has been receiving chemotherapy. His prognosis is good, but he has been unable to work or attend classes since his diagnosis. Now that the chemotherapy is done, he plans to return to Iowa City in August to complete his senior year at Iowa.

On the plus side, Faye Halverson says Ethan has many friends in Lansing and Iowa City who are very supportive and he is still covered by his parents’ health insurance. However, insurance doesn’t pay everything and there are many other related expenses to his treatment.

In light of those expenses, a benefit for Ethan and his family is being planned by Lisa Welsh, Jordan Milton and the Halverson family this Saturday, June 24 in Lansing.  There will be a fishing tournament from sunrise to 1 p.m., a whiffle ball  tournament at 10 a.m. at the Lansing Sports Complex, and silent and live auctions at TJ Hunter’s Banquet Hall, beginning at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. For information about the fishing tournament, contact Dan Halverson at 568-419-5472; for whiffle ball, call Jordan Milton at 563-568-8481 or Kacey Nuehring at 563-568-1512. For donations or volunteering, call Lisa Welsh at 563-568-7302. Additional details can also be found in the advertising on Page 10A of this week's Standard.

One of the items up for auction at the benefit event is “The Benefit Gun,” an historic item previously owned by Ethan’s grandfather, Harvey Halverson. The gun, a Remington 721 rifle with a scope, was first auctioned off at a benefit event in 2005 for Zach Halverson, also Harvey's grandson, and has been auctioned off many times since for various benefits. See the sidebar story in the shaded box for additional details about the Benefit Gun.

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