Hugh O’Connor was born in Rome, Italy. When he was six days old, he was adopted by Carroll O’Connor and his wife Nancy. Carroll was in Rome filming Cleopatra. He was named after Carroll O’Connor’s brother, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1961.
When he was 16, Hugh was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He survived the cancer with chemotherapy and two surgeries but became addicted to drugs. He had been taking prescription drugs for the pain and marijuana for nausea but later became dependent on harder drugs. Despite numerous stays at rehabilitation clinics, he never conquered his addiction and remained in recovery.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) is a type of lymphoma in which cancer originates from a specific type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Symptoms may include fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Often there will be non-painful enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, under the arm, or in the groin.[ Those affected may feel tired or be itchy.
About half of cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are due to Epstein–Barr virus (EBV). Other risk factors include a family history of the condition and having HIV/AIDS.[ There are two major types of Hodgkin lymphoma: classical Hodgkin lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma.[ Diagnosis is by finding Hodgkin’s cells such as multinucleated Reed–Sternberg cells (RS cells) in lymph nodes.[ The virus-positive cases are classified as a form of the Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferative diseases.