THE METAL WIRE: Sean Killian [VIO-LENCE] Diagnosed With Stage 4 Cirrhosis Of the Liver; What Fans Can Do To Help***UPDATED***

THE METAL WIRE: Sean Killian [VIO-LENCE] Diagnosed With Stage 4 Cirrhosis Of the Liver; What Fans Can Do To Help

Written by Marc C. Pietrek 2017

[Marc C. Pietrek/] One of the most revered and let’s be honest, feared bands that came out of the incredible Bay Area thrash metal scene of the mid to late 1980s was VIO-LENCE. Their fist two albums, ‘Eternal Nighmare’ (1988 MECHANIC RECORDS) and ‘Oppressing the Masses’ (1990 MEGAFORCE RECORDS) are considered classics by many of the genre’S fans worldwide. Similar to pioneers EXODUS and fellow east bay disgruntled metal punks SACRILEGE B.C., VIO-LENCE cooked up a lethal cocktail of aggression, vitriol and bloodlust themed music and mainlined it right into the eardrums of their fans. This was never more apparent than when they performed live, where fans wanted to constantly “out-brutal” and “out-thrash”one another when stage diving or thrashing in the pit. The more bodily harm caused and blood released during the show because of the sheer ferocity in the fans response, the more it was considered a success.

On June 19, 2017, the thrash metal and overall extreme metal community was informed of some horrible,tragic news on ‘THRASH ZONE’, hosted by DJ Billy Boldt. DanA Rivero Killian, wife of VIO-LENCE vocalist, Sean Killian, revealed that he has endstage liver disease, otherwise known as stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver (audio link listed below). Per Dana, “My husband Sean is very, very ill. He has, I guess what they call, endstage or the last stage it could possibly be at, liver disease, which is cirrhosis of the liver. And right now, his only cure is obtaining a new liver”. She went on to state that Sean has been accepted into the U.C.S.F. (UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO) Transplant Program and “as he stands now, he is eligible for a live donor transplant”. The procedure known as L.D.L.T. (Live Donor Liver Transplanttion) entails a live donor giving a portion of their liver to a friend or family member who is in need of a transplanted liver.

According to Dana, a person who wishes to donate a portion of their liver can complete an online questionnaire through U.C.S.F. They will determine if the person’s is a match for the patient. If they are a match, then they will educated and counseled. She stated, “And should they find it in the kindness of their heart to donate a portion of their liver, we – meaning Sean and our family – we’d take on the burden and responsibility of that cost. It is no cost to the donor, of course. They are doing us a big favor”.

Stage 4 is the final and most dire stage of cirrhosis of the liver. The life expectancy of the patient without a transplant, if diagnosed during this stage, is estimated to between one and three years. “We Need to get the ball rolling with this, because there is no cure except for a new liver”. Dana added to this: “I don’t have a date at what point does he no longer qualify for this, but I would say, from what I understand, about a year is about the time frame, and once that year has gone by and we haven’t found a viable donor liver, then his next step is just to be on the wait list with U.N.O.S. (UNITED NETWORK FOR ORGAN SHARING). They are the people in charge of those transplant lists and who gets the livers and where they go and all that and all that stuff that goes with it. So if that happens to be the case and he ends up on that list, it’s really just a waiting game – it really is – and there’s nothing we can do. There’s no cure. Like I said, the cure is a new liver”.

Dana claims that Seans’ condition is a result of heavy alcohol consumption over the years and used this opportunity to give a some heartfelt advice to people, especially younger ones: “Just simmer down on the liquor, because you will have problems, and you don’t wanna be where Sean is. It’s horrible”. She added that Sean has no muscle mass and no body fat and that he suffers from the condition known as ascites. It is when the liver can no longer process any fluid. Because of this, fluid accumulates in the abdomen. This requires it to be drained. “The last time he had that drained a couple of days ago, they took thirteen liters of fluid from his abdomen. So you can imagine how painful and uncomfortable that is”, she said.

Obviously this a grave situation. Cirrhosis of the liver is the end of the line. It is horrible, rancid and completely emotionally draining on the person and their family and friends. I have witnessed this firsthand while I was a durable medical equipment driver for hospice service. I will never forget the agony that everybody was sharing when I made a delivery for a twenty-three year old man who had the disease. Seeing his niece and nephew trying to get in some final play-time with their uncle while his grandmother prayed, holding rosary her beads. His older brother telling me about how his stomached had to be drained of fluids that day and that he needed to clean the vomit off the wall next to the hospital bed. Him asking me if everything would be covered by medical insurance or would his family be left with paying a mountain of medical bills after his brother died. That this was all a result of his bother refusing to quit drinking. Those things will stick in my mind forever.

Let us not despair just yet, ya rivet-heads. The good thing is that Sean is still with us. The husband and father of two young children has remained optimistic during this time. He has quit drinking and has a support system in place. The man that you would swear had the potential of being a mob hit-man amongst other titles based on his lyrics way back when, has actually become more “spiritual” and “sympathetic” over the last few years according to Dana. He is determined to fight for his life and watch his children grow up.

We in the metal community can at least try to help lessen the burden on the family regarding the covering colossal medical expenses. If anybody is interested in helping this much needed cause for a person who is synonymous with thrash metal by donating a slice of their own liver (with the costs being paid for by the Killian family), then email Dana Killian family), email Dana Killian at You will be directed to a secure U.C.S.F. MEDICAL CENTER web-site where you will begin the process by filling out  an on-line questionnaire.  If interested in helping financially the gofundme hyperlink, the U.C.S.F. MEDICAL CENTER Living Liver Donor Transplant hyperlink and the hyperlink for the ‘Thrash Zone’ episode that includes DJ Billy Boldt’s  interview with Dana Rivero Killian. Also, just for love of thrash metal, be sure to check the YouTube links for ‘Eternal Nightmare’, ‘Oppressing the Masses’ and the VIO-LENCE 2006 (fan-filmed!!) documentary, ‘VIO-LENCE – Blood and Dirt’. Cheers, ya rivet-heads-heads!!

Fundraiser by Dana Rivero Killian : Sean Killian Fights Liver Cirrhosis

UCSF MEDICAL CENTER Living Liver Donor Transplant

Thrash Zone w/ Vio-lence, Oxygen Destroyer, Ironwood, Fallen Man – Mixcloud

VIO-LENCE ‘Eternal Nightmare’ [Full Album]

VIO-LENCE ‘Opressing the Masses’ [Full Album]

VIO-LENCE ‘Blood and Dirt’ 2006 DVD





Author: Marc Pietrek

I grew up in northern California during the 1980s and have been an AVID heavy metal fan since 1982. Having experienced the Bay Area thrash metal scene first hand, thrash metal will always be at my core, However, I am also a huge fan of death metal, doom metal, traditional heavy metal, stoner rock/metal and old-school black metal. If it concerns any of those sub-genres, (to borrow a quote from Christopher Walken in 'THE KING OF NEW YORK') "I want in on it!!". Cheers, ya rivet-heads!!

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