HEALTH

Cancer survivor Charlie Lustman sings for others with cancer

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Patients at the Cancer Institute at George Washington University were treated to a special musical performance by an inspirational singer who overcame cancer himself.

46-year-old Hawaii resident Charlie Lustman travels the country singing the high and low notes of the disease.

"I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma bone cancer in my jaw. One in 400 million people get that form of cancer each year. That makes me a really lucky guy," Lustman said.

On March 1, 2006 and March 2007, he graduated from "cancer college" as he refers to it.

Five years ago, Lustman nearly stopped singing. To stop his cancer from spreading, doctors had to remove most of his upper jaw.

"I had a pregnant wife and a 3-year-old child," Lustman said. "I realized, 'wait a minute there's gotta be something to all this.' So let's write a pop opera called "Made Me Nuclear" and go out and sing these songs for people to show them that anything's possible. I mean I have a prosthetic jaw and here I am singing on stage."

He now travels coast to coast advocating that patients look into the latest clinical trials but mostly promoting his message of positivity.

His songs were enough to brighten Susan Hardwick's day, even during chemotherapy.

"Well, I feel really good after listening to Charlie," Hardwick said.

The 59-year-old Richmond woman is a three-time cancer survivor and is fighting stage four breast cancer which has spread to her liver, right lung and bones.

She's a believer in the healing power of music at the hospital or at home.

"The music it can be Handle's Messiah. It can be ABBA's Dancing Queen. It's all about feeling good," Hardwick said.

Lustman tells patients that doctors can treat your body but it's up to you to care for the mind and spirit.

"So I can have control of this. Yes I can. I'm going to survive this thing and I'm gonna go out and make a difference," Lustman said.

To learn more about Lustman and his music visit www.mademenuclear.com.

 

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