Dan Eigen, of Eden Prairie, is known throughout the fishing community as “Walleye Dan.”
The longtime professional fishing guide (Brainerd Lakes area) has hooked into lots of battles, but none bigger, and nastier, than the one he’s fighting now, a Multiple Myeloma diagnosis.
The disease is a rare type of blood cancer that originates in bone marrow. The cancerous plasma cells produce abnormal proteins, which can damage kidneys and immune systems. Tumors, within the bone marrow, can also develop and cause bone damage and intense pain.
“My Facebook page spells out the day in the life of someone dealing with this crap,” said Eigen.
Yes, cancer sucks.
While there is no cure, Eigen is hoping/praying for a remission.
He’s two months into chemotherapy treatments. Eventually, he’ll receive a bone marrow transplant.
“It’s tough,” he said, “as I’m a guy driven to do stuff and I love to hunt and fish.”
A couple weeks ago, he helped his son put up a deer stand.
The plan is to set in one himself.
“I’m going to try,” he said.
Just do it
Eigen’s philosophy, to date, is that if he feels up to doing something, he’ll do it.
“My body lets me know,” he said. “If I’ve done too much, it tells me that I probably shouldn’t have done that.”
Eigen is slow learner.
“If I feel like it,” he said, “I’m going to do it.”
On Friday, friends and family will hold a “Walleye Dan” benefit at Turtle’s 1890 Social Centre in Shakopee.
It’s open to the public. Food and drink will be available and the band 3 Dragons + a Girl will play from 8–11 p.m. A live and silent auction will take place from 6-9 p.m. Auction items include a Kawasaki stand up jet ski, Polaris ATV, Joe Mauer signed baseball, one-week’s stay at Beach Front Cottage, golf clubs, compound bow and more.
“Peoples’ generosity has been amazing,” said Eigen.
And the fight, without the lifelong fisherman knowing what’s on the other end of the line, goes on.