Chuck’s Story

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It all started when…

In February 2016 Chuck Colletti a healthy 49 yr. old man was diagnosed with stage 4 follicular lymphoma, the second most common subtype non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that has no cure, although it has several treatments that help manage the disease thus resulting in prolonged life expectancy, the current time statistics say that there is a 60% chance of a 5-year survival rate from time of diagnosis.

From the start Chuck had it in his mind to squash that statistic.  At time he was diagnosed,  Chuck had a beautiful 6-month-old baby girl Gabriella and had recently become engaged to Brandee Thompson.  Brandee was all too familiar with cancer having lost her Father, Grandmother and Grandfather in the previous 6 years to this awful disease but was ready to face this monster with Chuck once again.

Ready for Pheresis (gathering of T -Cells) for Car T Trial

Ready for Pheresis (gathering of T -Cells) for Car T Trial

After undergoing an intense 7-month chemotherapy regime in August 2016 Chuck was declared to be in full remission and stayed that way for about 12 months.  In September 2017 the cancer had returned and was more aggressive this time around.  Chuck then went through 4 weeks of cancer drug infusions to see if that would work on slowing or stopping the cancer progression but unfortunately it didn’t.  With options now starting to dwindle Chuck was lucky enough that Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh was conducting an immunotherapy clinical trial, Car T Cell Therapy for his particular type of cancer.  After pre-testing Chuck was accepted into the trial and on Feb 26, 2018 Chuck received his new re-engineered cells.  Although he experienced very brutal side effects, spent a week in ICU with cytokine storms, neurotoxicity’s and other serious issues he is currently in clinical remission.

Besides Chuck’s full time employment as Business Development Manager for Touch of Color Flooring, he has become a huge advocate for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  He has had a short documentary done on his journey, speaks at conferences, has been interviewed for numerous publications including The USA Today and Parade Magazine.  He also has been nominated for the National Leukemia and Lymphoma’s 2019 Man of the Year.  Chuck hopes that by telling his story and mindset he can inspire and motivate people who are fighting this fight everyday to continue with hope….

Chuck speaking at Duquesne Club for Executive Light the Night Breakfast

Chuck speaking at Duquesne Club for Executive Light the Night Breakfast