Health scare

Retired adult film performer Benjamin Bradley is in the fight for his life

Benjamin Lemke once went by the name Benjamin Bradley. He was a popular performer in the mid-2000s for companies like Falcon Studios and Buckshot. He also posed the underwear company Ginch Gonch.

In a sad turn of events, Lemke has found himself in middle of a fight for his life. He’s dealing with his second bout of Non-Hodgekin’s Lymphoma.

Lemke has a large metastatic tumor in his neck that is growing larger and has begun pushing up against his jugular. In addition to that, he has developed several cavity lung lesions. As a result, he has been in and out of the hospital for the past month.

His partner, Alfred Robles, has started a YouCaring fundraising campaign to help cover Lemke’s expenses.

“He currently has exhausted all funds for cancer treatments, and we have maxed out all credit cards paying for his medical expenses and covering his health care needs,” Robles writes.

So far, Robles has raised about $8,600 of his $12,000 goal.

“If you have ever met or known Benjamin, you have been touched by his upbeat, loving, one-of-a-kind personality,” Robles says.

Here’s wishing Lemke a full recovery.

Related: How My Doctors Failed To Diagnose My HPV-Related Oral Cancer And Left Me For Dead

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34 Comments

  • ChrisK

    Wow. No one in this country should have to beg for medical care. Sorry to hear that.

    • prarie pup

      you are absolutely right, ChrisK. I hear all the put-downs regarding and stigmatizing “socialized medicine” and every time I do, my first thought is those people don’t have clue what they’re talking about.

      I lived in Germany for 5 years; a country whose citizens plagued by the evils of socialized medicine…whatever. Yes, income taxes are higher in Germany, but not by as much some would have you believe (I’m looking at you Republican party). If you take into consideration what an American family of four pays income tax AND ADD IN: insurance premiums, (figure at least $300 per month for that alone) deductibles, co-pays for prescriptions and a myriad of other copays, we pay about the same as Germans do–and get a LOT less in return.

      Germans don’t hit a “maximum amount of coverage” then have to file bankruptcy lose their home all in the name of getting a loved one healthy again. Grandma never has to face the agonizing choice of either paying for her pills or buying food because she can’t afford both. And guess what? The German economy not only provides FULL MEDICAL COVERAGE for its citizens, doing so hasn’t forced the country into the poor house; they are a world power and one of the Top 10 economies in the world.

      If they can do, we can do it…but it’ll never happen here because too many of us have been brainwashed that socialized medicine = bad. We’ve been brainwashed by all the corporations who earn BILLIONS of dollars per year by SCREWING the American public on, for example, a drug that costs $180 bucks here, $30 bucks in Germany. And why is that? Because our politicians (DEM and REPUB) are owned by these organizations. That’s not so in Germany; their politicians put their citizens first, not groups and individuals that give them campaign money.

    • RocketBear

      Sorry Prarie pup,

      I don’t know when you claim to have lived in Germany, but you either were covered on your parents policy or you didn’t work.

      I lived and worked in Germany from. 1999-2003. Your employer does not provide insurance. You are required to find your own insurance and your employer pays 1/2 of the premium. You are also required to have insurance and most insurance companies have health requirements in order to be covered.

      There are two basic types of insurance in Germany. Kind of the equivalent of an HMO and a PPO type. However, in order to qualify for the ‘private’ aka PPO insurance you must meet minimum income requirements.

      If you become unemployed and have private insurance you are required to pay the full premium.

      If you have the ‘social’ aka HMO type insurance, you are first required to be added to a spouse’s plan if you are married and they are working. If you are single or your spouse is unemployed as well, then and only then does the government pick up the tab for your insurance.

      As to cost of medications, Germans are more into holistic health than most Americans (which I think is a good thing). I received a prescription for massage for my back issues. However, you were required to get a prescription for melatonin. At the time it was about $10 for 20 pills. I could get a 60 pill bottle here in the states for less than $4.00. I used to bring bottles of melatonin for friends whenever I visited the states.

      Frankly I doubt prarie pup has ever lived in Germany and worked in the local economy. His reply is full of false information.

    • aDiOrableguy

      I don’t know. I’ve never had a problem with my medical, dental, or vision insurance. My job takes care of that. Do I have copays? Yes…$25. But once I was off of my parents insurance and had to do it for myself… I’ve always looked for jobs that covered me just in case. It’s OUR responsibility as adults that WE take care of ourselves not anyone else’s. I have cancer that runs in my family so it’s probably inevitable I will probably get it…. but guess what? I also took out a cancer policy. Our porn friend in this article should’ve maybe put some of that money away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sympathetic, my father had non-hidgekins lymphoma. But it’s up to yourself to protect ourselves.

  • ChrisK

    Makes me realize that I too am just one medical emergency away from ruin.

    • barkomatic

      Most of are one medical emergency away from ruin–even if you have health insurance the uncovered treatments and co-payments as well as lost wages can wipe you out financially. It’s hard enough fighting for your life but Republicans believe that if you aren’t rich enough to pay for your treatments you don’t deserve to live at all.

    • o.codone

      So, before Obamacare people used to say, “I’m just one emergency away from ruin”. Then I thought Obama fixed that. So, why are you still saying that?

    • Jack Meoff

      This wouldn’t happen in Australia you would be covered under the public health system

    • ChrisK

      Yeah, the same country that cheeto visited and said had really great Healthcare.

    • Jack Meoff

      Well he was bound to get something right every now and then wasn’t he.

  • Xzamilloh

    Man, its uncomfortable to see how real life can get when these are simply people you see as entertainment and not as actual people who are mortal. It really is a terrible situation, and all you can do is hope for the best, and donate.

  • Juanjo

    Sad commentary on the state of health care in this country. Thousands of people a year file bankruptcy because of medical bills. The Austin study done at Northwestern University in 2015 found that the rate was 25% of all bankruptcies were for medical reasons alone. If you look at mixed reason the number is higher however but since the ACA according to the study the number has dropped from the 62% number based on the 2009 Harvard study.

    I hope this man and his spouse are able to pull through physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. It is one thing to look at dry statistics. It is quite another to look at the face of someone who is one of the statistics.

    • o.codone

      juanjo said ” If you look at mixed reason the number is higher however but since the ACA according to the study the number has dropped from the 62% number based on the 2009 Harvard study”.

      Whatever TF that means. Try your local church, they often have ESL for free.

  • Bob LaBlah

    With the defeat of Trumpcare one would hope that it has finally dawned on us we are all human and subject to terminal illnesses (we are all one day going to die of SOMETHING) and need financial help. Its sad help is available to those who can afford it but those who can’t must resort to the equivalent of panhandling electronically (the internet).

  • tdh1980

    No one who lives in one of THE wealthiest nations in the world should have to resort to crowd funding and credit cards in order to pay his medical bills. No one. There is no *legitimate* reason for that. What’s even more telling is that people with supposed “quality” healthcare coverage still are at risk of facing a similar fate when they suffer catastrophic illness or traumatic injury.

    • Mkiel

      Shame on the USA.
      I had the same cancer in 2002/3 ,I spent months in a Sydney hospital (all free) because it is a very aggressive cancer & ended up in IC twice.Wishing Him all the best.

  • Kieran

    Every American citizen should have the same health care coverage that the US Congress has voted itself.

  • Artiewhitefox

    Do this. All need to do this: :Upcspine.com, NUCCA.org, Thespesific.com or Upper cervical health centers. . Don’t be measured by them the day of a hit to the head, accident or fall. Wait 4 – 5 days. If you can be treated by Steven Duff, Windsor, California or Richard Duff, San Francisco, California.

  • mz.sam

    Screw the GOP criminal congressional majority and the Masterbater-In-Chief, this country needs single payer health insurance NOW! Benjamin Bradley was hot then…Benjamin Lemke is still hot now. Much needed prayers and support to him and his partner.

  • IanHunter

    It is sad that our health care system is funding pages. I wish him all the best, a quick recovery and a long happy life.

  • o.codone

    Kindly address all complaints about our current lack of affordable health care to the Congress and to Mr. Obama because if I remember correctly that shi*tty healthcare is called “Obamacare”. Own it. It sucks.

    • Kangol

      Look, unless you know what his health insurance situation is, you really should stop trashing Barack Obama and Obamacare, because as millions will attest, it was FAR WORSE BEFORE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. Our current system is a Republican-created, market-oriented one, which conservatives claimed to have loved when the Heritage Foundation thought it up and Mitt Romney implemented a pilot version in Massachusetts. But it’s an insufficient substitute for single payer health CARE, not just insurance, which most of the rest of the developed West has. That said, I really wish Benjamin Lemke the best, and I hope everyone who can contribute even a little will do so.

    • prarie pup

      o.codone, no health system is perfect, but i’d rather have Obama’s “shi*tty healthcare” plan than NO healthcare plan. you wanna talk about “shi*tty”? My neighbor HAD a 28 year old step brother who worked in construction. he got a deep SCRATCH from a rusty nail while on a construction job that offered no health coverage; he had no coverage of his own either.

      The scratch became infected, got worse and worse, and when his leg started swelling a few days later he finally went to the emergency room…it was too late. He got some kind of infection that had spread throughout his body and he DIED a few days later. From a SCRATCH. In the WEALTHIEST COUNTRY HISTORY HAS EVER KNOWN…now what was that you said about Obamacare?

    • mz.sam

      32 million on Obamacare do surely own it rather than having it repealed. Without this healthcare plan it would have pave the way for their worsened heath crisis and foreseeable death. Moreover, the pathetic GOPers spent the prior 7 years in opposition only to blow their slimy wads with no solutions with ‘Rump in power and without help their own heath-strickened constituents. SAD!

    • o.codone

      Kangol said “Our current system is a Republican-created, market-oriented one”. You’re delusional. Not ONE Republican voted for this plan. Not one.

      Prarie pup. Your friend was eligible for Medicaid and could have gotten medical care for free if he went to the hospital on time. So, stop with the dramatics.

      mz.sam. Your 32 million friends cannot even use their Obamacrap insurance because the deductibles are so high that it only qualifies as catastrophic insurance after the hefty deductible.

      Now that the nation realizes Obamacare is crap the liberals are trying to make everybody except the Democrat congress and the idiot Obama own it. Well, own it, it’s yours. And, it’s crap.

  • baggins435

    I’m unemployed and my insurance just jumped to $610/month. And that is with a $6K out of pocket and $1K deductible on meds.

  • jsmnyny24

    Dont care. He’s uesless at this point.

    • ChrisK

      Speaking of useless. Learn to write properly so you don’t look like such a dumbass .

    • o.codone

      OMFG, ChrisK just corrected someone’s spelling. I’ve taught you well ChrisK, in fact you’re chutzpah is giving me a hard on. Wanna help me out?

  • GayEGO

    This is such a sad story, he needs to have his medical bills paid for by the ACA.

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    It is time for our American brothers and sisters to demand a single payer system, you can’t go on living like this. You are being lied to, cheated, robbed, and killed by the bought politicians. Everyone of you just ask any politician you meet “Are you for a single payer system”?

    • ChrisK

      What I’ve heard and it makes sense. Just give it a name that everyone’s already familiar with. Call it Medicare for all. Be allot harder for the right wing hacks to spin a doomsday scenario to scare people.

  • Daryl-Atlanta

    As of 5Pm/Sunday 13-Aug-2017 the YouCaring fundraising page for Benjamin Lemke (f/k/a “Benjamin Bradley”) is now showing “Page Not Found”… A search of the site did not return any results for either name. Benjamin’s page was up earlier today and showed new contributions still coming in that (then) totaled in the $13,300+ range with a $15,000 goal. I hope that Benjamin’s condition did not take a bad turn…or that his YouCaring page was not removed or disabled for whatever reason.

    Perhaps David Grant, the author of this article about Benjamin and his health issues can update the article with the latest about both Benjamin and the status of his YouCaring.com fundraising efforts. Any updates would be appreciated! (https://www.youcaring.com/benjaminlemke-891837 )

  • EyalVick

    It’s interesting how a turn of unfortunate events can force someone to learn humility and gratitude. I remember Benjamin from his time in Las Vegas, as a performer, “boyfriend experience” provider, Ginch Gonch Underwear model and short lived editor of QVEGAS Magazine. He was quite the local celebrity. But I also remember his disdain for so many who were just average Joe’s, people who couldn’t do anything for him. Telling his older fans that would come up to him at the club to “pay him”. He taught me a lesson, though–that I didn’t want to be that kind of young gay man. I empathize with Ben and his lover…I lost my older to the same cancer in 2011. I even sent some money–which I hope will all go to his treatment. More importantly, though, I thank him for showing us that none of us are infallible and karma can hit one right in the face.

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