Dann Siems Benefit

A colleague and fellow freethinker at Bemidji State University, Dann Siems, has been diagnosed with a terminal glioblastoma. This is not good. This is damned scary stuff. He’s still blogging away occasionally, discussing the experimental treatments being tried on him, but this is all expensive, and he has a family as well. If you’d like to help, there is a benefit concert being held on 5 June with a raffle. Maybe you can’t attend because Turtle River, Minnesota isn’t exactly next door, but you could buy a raffle ticket. Or if you’d rather, you can just make a donation through Headwaters Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.


  1. clare7 says

    Damn. I didn’t know Dann, but my husband and he took field courses together at the U of M Biological station at Lake Itasca in 1990. Not that cancer is ‘acceptable’ at any time, but it’s frustratingly terrifying to see it in people I consider young — esp. those who have young children. Waves of squidliness to him and his family.

  2. sgtbowe says

    Thanks so much for posting this. Dann was blogging about this as news came in but as you can imagine, dealing with this and handling chemo tends to remove one’s motivation to blog. There will certainly be at least a couple Pharyngulites at the benefit so join us if you can! Also, if anyone is interested in helping in any other way feel free to contact me. Just follow the e-mail link on the benefit website.

  3. boygenius says

    I’m pretty sure my mother knows Dann through her contacts at Bemidji State. And my brother lives near Blackduck. I will forward the info about the benefit concert to them both.

    Heartfelt best wishes to Dann and his family.

  4. hullgra says

    I’m sorry I don’t know Dann, but I do know a little about the disease, at least in children. I work with them in experimental treatments or last hopes. I hate to say it but despite all best wishes we are not yet at a point medically where this is treatable let alone cureable. At best. . . extra time gained. And that’s a mixed blessing.
    I really hope he bucks the trend

  5. TommyG says

    I don’t know what Dann’s prospects are, but it is a horrible disease. Someone who is trying to do something about the type of glioblastoma called Glioblastoma Multiforme (“GBM”) is

    Tocagen, Inc.
    3030 Bunker Hill St. Suite 230
    San Diego, CA 92109
    (858) 412-8400


    My understanding is that they are beginning the process of enrolling patients in trials at UCLA, UCSF and the Cleveland Clinic (I don’t know this last one). He and his doctor may want to contact them, if they have not already. As a disclosure, I have a friend who works for Tocagen and I hope their work will save lives.

  6. MadScientist says

    That’s awful; glioblastoma killed off an uncle of mine 20 years ago.

  7. carson says

    Weird thing is I’m going on a 4,500 mile, 13 state road trip this summer, and I’m going to be camping less than 30 miles away from Turtle River that very night, going to have to stop by and help out.

  8. DLC says

    I’m sorry for your friend. I have nothing I can give other than my good wishes.

  9. The Tim Channel says

    I wonder how many other high profile people will have to die of bankruptcy before the American medical system is truly reformed?


  10. broboxley OT says

    Hi Tim Channel #13, reform wont fix was the gentleman has, pacriatic cancer is about the only disease that kills with such speed. Condolences to Dann, he has hit a tough one

  11. sgtbowe says

    Thanks Carson. Feel free to contact me when you get to the area. We can use all the help we can get.

  12. amphiox says

    about the type of glioblastoma called Glioblastoma Multiforme (“GBM”)

    Just for clarification, the term GBM includes all forms of glioblastoma. The two labels are equivalent (GBM = glioblastoma). At least for now.

  13. davem says

    My Dad died last year of the same disease. By the time the first symptoms appeared, it was too late, and he died 6 weeks later. At least he was looked after hand and foot by the hospice movement, and for nothing.