The ESPN reporter who died on his 34th birthday last month didn't realize it, but he had stage 4 cancer. Edward Aschoff's fiancee, Katy Berteau, took to Twitter to explain the sequence of events that led to Aschoff's sudden decline and Christmas Eve death, USA Today reports. Aschoff was initially hospitalized with multifocal pneumonia, and died of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare immune system syndrome. A lung biopsy performed after the reporter's death found that, "Unbeknownst to us, Edward had stage 4, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in his lungs. This is an aggressive type of cancer that is usually undetectable until it is very advanced," she writes. "Both pneumonia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma can trigger HLH in the body and that is seemingly what happened with Edward."
She says that the clarity "has helped me knowing that his passing was inevitable, and I’m at least grateful he didn’t have to go through the painful treatment and drawn out process of battling the disease," jokingly noting, "He wouldn’t have wanted to go out like that. His ass was too vain." CNN notes many had expressed surprise that Aschoff, who was young and seemingly in good health, would die of pneumonia, and Berteau adds, "I also wanted to provide this update because he would have wanted everyone to know that something way bigger than pneumonia took him down." The two were to be married in April. (Read more cancer stories.)