To see Charles Butler and his infectious, sometimes mischievous, grin you would never know he is battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia. But Charles is a survivor and he knows he is among the fortunate ones.
About 12 years ago, Charles was diagnosed with this form of leukemia which is a cancer that represents about 25 percent of the four forms of leukemia.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) usually does not develop in people under age 40 and it is extremely rare in children. Incidences of CLL in the United States are higher in caucasians and recent research gives its victims a five year survival rate of 73 percent. Charles, knowing he cannot make the disease disappear, is out to prove he can beat all the odds by participating in a clinical trial at Ohio State University.
Once accepted into the clinical trial, Charles found himself traveling to Columbus, Ohio the last eight weeks for two nights and two days for the treatments which consist of an IV port and three pills that are designed to put him into remission.
While his insurance paid for his bone marrow aspirations and biopsy, scans and other incidentals after deductibles, the Leukemia Association, the hospital, the sponsoring pharmaceutical company and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life has paid the remaining expenses of the clinical trial. Included in these expenses are his hotel stay and gas to and from the treatments.
He estimates the total cost, when completed with the trial at the end of this year to be close of $4,000 – something he could not afford to do without financial assistance of organizations such as Relay for Life.
Charles recently stopped by to see the Relay for Life County Committee to update the group on his progress. He is currently on sabbatical from the committee as logistics chair, a position he has held for several years.
“I’m 20 pounds lighter, my energy is up and I’m feeling so much better. I have people praying for me and my attitude is good,” Charles said.
“I’ve never, never given up and God is good!” he adds.
So the next time someone asks what those Relay donations go toward, tell them about LaRue Countian Charles Butler, one of your own.
Courtesy LaRue County Relay for Life