"Bucket List Guy" undergoes brain surgery - aired tonight on NBC's TMJ4 in Milwaukee

March 12, 2012 - Tonight TMJ4 in Milwaukee aired a special clip of Eric after he underwent brain surgery this afternoon to combat the recent relapse of leukemia found in his cerebral spinal fluid.  Click on the image to the left to watch the video. 

MILWAUKEE - It's a heart-breaking update on a story we've been following for a couple years.

Eric McLean, also known as the "Bucket List Guy" is back at Froedtert Hospital, after his leukemia relapsed for a 6th time.

In 2009, when Eric was given only months to live, he created a bucket list, and even went sky-diving. But Monday--he underwent brain surgery, after leukemia was found in his cerebral spinal fluid. We talked to Eric and his wife Cari just a few months ago about his ongoing battle.

"There are times when I feel like, the whole why me thing, it's not that often I get that way. When it keeps coming back like that, it's like gosh, 'When am I ever gonna kick this for good?'"

We keep Eric in our prayers. If you want more information, or want to help, Eric has a fundraising website, givetolife.org.


  • The reason that these years have been the best is that I think that I might have had a somewhat positive impact on your lives and perhaps your understanding of what cancer is and what it can do, to both those of us that it has personally attacked and those of us who know someone who is going through it. -Eric McLean
  • I just want children to be left with a better life than what I was left with," he said. "I want them to experience the feeling I had in my life when I realized that I really mattered.
    ~ Larry Hisle
  • Realistically, I have two more Olympic cycles in me. I'm not going to let this beat me.  I've gained a lot of strength from you guys, if Eric can fight 5 times over I can overcome this one year of setbacks.
    ~ Chris Solinsky
  • Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men. ~ Albert Einstein
  • Never, never, never give up.
    ~ Winston Churchill
  • I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! ~ Dr. Seuss
  • Once you choose hope, anything's possible.
    ~ Christopher Reeve
  • If you're going through hell, keep going.
    ~ Winston Churchill