Back pain sent famed comic book ink artist Dexter Vines to the hospital over the weekend, where he was diagnosed with blood cancer. Now, his art represenatives have launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for the extensive medical care he will need to beat it. Vines, best known for his work on Civil War with Steve McNiven and Superman/Batman with Ed McGuinness, apparently fractured two vertebrae and was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer that attacks the plasma of the blood. The fracture was tied to the cancer, and arguably was a good thing, becuase it means that he has had it detected fairly early.
Per the GoFundMe page, Vines's prognosis is good, but the costs are still astronomical. The artist has insurance, but it will come up very short of the final cost of treatment, and during the course of the treatment it will be harder for Vines to work fast enough to keep up.
Here's hot the Mayo Clinic describes the cancer, via the GoFundMe page: "Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs. Multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications."
Apparently it is fairly treatable and, in some cases, completely curable, so given the early start that Vines is getting, he and his friends and family are feeling hopeful. As of this writing, the GoFundMe has also already raised over $20,000 to help offset the cost of treatment and loss of income. The page notes, though, that Vines's back should be able to heal fully, once the Myeloma has been treated.
They ask that even if fans can't contribute to the GoFundMe themselves, they share the link above to get the word out.
"We (and Dexter) very much appreciate your support," his friends wrote on the page. "We love Dexter deeply, as does the entire comic book community and the hundreds of thousands of fans who have enjoyed his work the past two and a half decades."
In addition to commercial acclaim, Vines is considered one of the most skilled inkers in comics, having won an Inkpot Award in 2012 for best ink art over pencil.