ESPN reporter Edward Aschoff didn't know he had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma before death

ESPN college football reporter Edward Aschoff, who died suddenly in December, didn't know he had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his lungs, his fiancée Katy Berteau revealed on Twitter.

Berteau posted the update to 34-year-old Aschoff's account on Wednesday in the hope that it would "help people in processing and making a little more sense of what happened."

She said that Aschoff had stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his lungs, which is an aggressive cancer that is usually not detectable until it is very advanced.

Shortly before his death, he was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed with multifocal pneumonia, but after failed antibiotic treatment, he was admitted back to the ER.

Tests and biopsies revealed that he had hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH, a rare immune system disease in which the body makes too many activated immune cells, according to the National Institute of Health.

Berteau said these overactive cells "attack itself and other healthy tissues," and within three days in intensive care, Aschoff died.

His fiancée said the combination of pneumonia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can trigger HLH in the body and that is seemingly what happened to Aschoff.

"I hope this information helps people in dealing with this tragedy," she wrote. "It 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."

She went on to say she wanted to provide the update because he would have wanted everyone to know that something way bigger than pneumonia took him down.

Aschoff, a rising star in college football reporting, had been public about his health struggle, which he began tweeting about in November.

"For someone who never gets sick I've had some fever/cough/fatigue/flu thing for about two weeks now," he tweeted just before Thanksgiving.

But his condition only worsened. Aschoff passed away on his 34th birthday -- Christmas Eve -- just months ahead of his spring wedding.

Aschoff joined ESPN in 2011 as part of the SEC blog network, which covers the NCAA Southeastern Conference. During the past three seasons, Aschoff reported from college campuses across the U.S. for ESPN.com, SportsCenter, SEC Network and ESPN radio, ESPN reported. He was both a television and radio sideline reporter during games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.