Voice actor Charlie Schlatter is holding a fundraiser to raise money for leukemia. Following a diagnosis he received a few years ago that he has thankfully been able to beat, he is now dedicating his time and energy to the process. Many voice actors have donated to his cause, and he has opened CharityBuzz events around Los Angeles for funding. Donations are being accepted until Saturday the 9th at 6pm PST (9pm EST).
His story can be read below:
Several years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable form of Leukemia. I thought I was just making a quick stop at my doctor’s office to have a bug bite on my arm looked at. Dr.Trabulus took one look and said it was a clot. He checked my spleen and said it felt like a basketball. And after taking blood, he discovered I had 360,000 white blood cells. The normal is 7,000. He looked me in the eye and said, “I think you have Leukemia.” "Wrong," I said. "I have a wife and three young children and this isn’t in the plan. Maybe I have Mono but I don’t have cancer.” He called an oncologist and set up an appointment for a bone marrow biopsy for the following day. He also called my wife Colleen to tell her I left there thinking I had Mono but that I had Leukemia. He told her I needed to clear my plate of everything and focus on the battle ahead. She was devastated.
We met with Dr. Dorothy Park at Tower Oncology the next day where I was given my first of several bone marrow biopsies. They suck. Dr. Park delivered the bad news. I had over 336,000 white blood cells and was 97% infected with leukemic cells. Not the record, but pretty damn close. My doctors believed me to have CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia) but we wouldn’t know for sure until further tests were done. But before that happened, Dr.Trabulus called to say I needed to get to the hospital for aggressive treatment. Early results indicated I was in a blast phase. I asked him, “Am I going to die?” He answered, “We’re going to get you the best care we can possibly get you.”
After several days in the hospital with Colleen always at my side, we learned I DID have CML, and started a protocol of Gleevec. Gleevec is a miracle drug made possible by LLS research and the reason I’m alive today. Had I been diagnosed just a few years prior, I'd have been handed a death sentence.
I’m not special. This can happen to anyone, yet because there is this stigma surrounding cancer, I was hesitant to tell people. Especially my kids. We weren't sure the treatment was going to work 100% and didn't want them worrying about their dad's mortality. We were honest though and told them “Daddy has this blood thing and needs to take medicine to make it all good.” The few people I did tell were family members and good friends, the ones I needed to drive me to and from work. People stepped up and some turned away. It happens. In fact, I revealed condition to my theatrical agency a few months after starting my treatment and shortly after, I was released from the roster. Cancer's a game changer and it’s still not easy to “come out” but hopefully my doing so will make it easier for others.
Colleen has always said there must be a reason for this, and that good can certainly come from it. As usual, she’s right. After years of living with cancer, it’s time for me to speak out, come out and finally give back to those who have given me this incredible chance at a second life. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate my time to raising money, $336,000 to be exact, for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, such a selfless organization, and one that I credit with prolonging my life. It's also an honor to be associated with you, the generous people helping to fund research to lead to a victory over cancers of so many types.
Together we CAN make a difference! I hope you’ll help.
TEAM SCHLATTERHOUSE is working to raise as much as possible before June 8th. Every dollar we raise counts as one vote for me. If my team tallies the most votes, I earn the prestigious title of "Man of the Year". Many LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients, but are also now used to treat patients with rare forms of stomach and skin cancers and are in clinical trials for patients with lung, brain, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers.
*All donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible. They'll not only support LLS research, but patient services, advocacy, public and professional education, and community services as well.
**Please visit my website often and tell friends who would also like to donate!
Thank you for your support! For more information about LLS, please visit www.lls.org