An auction raises funds for a toddler diagnosed with brain cancer


On April 1, Charlie Waller´s parents were told that their
2-year-old son had an inoperable fast-growing brain stem tumor known as
diffuse intrinsic pontine glima, and that time was limited. 

On June 22, Abigail and John Waller will host “Art for
Charlie,” an art auction fundraiser at the Dublin Square Event Room.
Proceeds will go to enriching the remainder of Charlie’s life and
covering possible hospice costs, John Waller said. 

“Charlie’s great love is zoos,” he said.  “We’ll do a number of day trips and overnight trips to places where he can experience nature and see animals.” 

John Waller is an associate professor in Michigan State
University´s history, philosophy and sociology of science department at
the Lyman Briggs College; Abigail Waller is a field liaison and
partnership coordinator in the MSU School of Social Work.

 A portion of
the funds will go to Brandon’s Defense Foundation, a charity that
donates goodie bags full of toiletries for parents that stay overnight
in hospitals and toys and snacks for children in treatment, said founder
Julie Gordon. 

“My son was diagnosed in 2007 with cancer,” she said. “We
took some of the more important things that touched us during his battle
— (it’s) kind of our tribute, a mini Make-A-Wish (Foundation) to
entertain these kids while they are getting treatment.” 

The event is also a way to spread awareness of childhood cancer and to assist families in need, Gordon said. 

“One in 300 children is diagnosed with cancer, and you
don’t know if it will be your child,” she said. It´s important “to get
people to understand the significance of what you’re going through —
it’s not just medical bills.” 

Artworks contributed for the auction range from professional pieces to locally made work. 

“It’s incredibly touching,” John Waller said. “Some of the most beautiful things have just come from out of the blue.  People have received an email from somebody else that heard about it and they want to donate.” 

“It snowballed,” Abigail Waller said. “My father has a
sister who is an artist in Italy. She volunteered to send some
artwork (and since then) people have been offering art.”

In addition to the auction, the event features live music,
refreshments and raffle prizes from local businesses. Tickets are
available at

´Art for Charlie´
6 p.m. Wednesday, June 22
Dublin Square,
327 Abbot Road,
East Lansing