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Fundraiser for Minnesota musician battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer

Ed Ackerson's band Polara has a star on the wall at First Avenue.

One day after being launched, a GoFundMe campaign for a Minnesota musician has generated more than $24,000. 

The online fundraiser is for Ed Ackerson and his family. Ackerson, a long time Minneapolis musician who is internationally known as a producer, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer "just over a year ago," the fundraiser explains. 

"He is tough as nails and he has fought back with everything he’s got, but this is a deadly disease with a low survival rate," the campaign explains. "Ed, his wife Ashley and their beautiful 4-year-old daughter Annika all need your help to keep fighting for now and for the future." 

Ackerson has been in the music scene for 30 years, both as a producer and recording artist for his bands The Dig, The 27 Various, Polara, and BNLX. As noted by long time former Twin Cities radio DJ Jason Nagel, Polara performed at the inaugural Basilica Block Party in 1995. 

Polara is among the bands with a star on the outside wall of First Avenue in Minneapolis. 

Ackerson has owned and operated Flowers Studio on Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis for two decades, but cancer treatments have "forced Ed to dramatically scale down his paying projects," essentially cutting his income by more than 75 percent. 

All donations will go to help provide both now and in the future for his family. 

Ed Ackerson issued a statement to publicly reveal his battle in September. He wrote:

"We’d been keeping this quiet, but since Pete Townshend hinted at it at The Who show last week, it seems like a good time to talk.

"One year ago, I got some very unexpected news: I have stage four pancreatic cancer. Working with a team of top people from Mayo Clinic, I’ve been fighting it super hard. This news has been kept to an extremely small group of people so far, but my condition has recently become more challenging, and it seems like a good time to tell everyone. One of the reasons I’ve kept it quiet is because I want to keep my focus on the positive energy of rock and roll, and my family and friends, rather than dwelling on the illness and attempting to answer unanswerable questions. Despite it all, I’ve been in an amazingly creative period musically, with a couple of brand new sonic collaborations in the works. I can’t wait to share some of these new sounds soon.

"In the meanwhile, my family and I would appreciate your support as we make the best of a very serious situation. We will keep you posted on my progress, future events and things we may need assistance with. Also, please understand that I will not be able to reply to messages and other communications in order to stay focused on my family, health and music. Peace love and happiness – Ed"

According to his website, Ackerson is a Stillwater native who now makes his home in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. 

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