March 18 2013 12:00 AM

Play raises money for child cancer patient

Monday, Sept. 12 — When 3-year-old Charlie Waller of East Lansing underwent radiation and chemotherapy in June for a brain stem tumor, his diagnosis was critical.

Doctors left him with an expected six to nine months to live, only a 0 to 1 percent chance of survival — not to mention the outrageous medical expenses.

Dora Ivkovich, a 7-year-old fifth grader from Kinawa Middle School in Okemos, was inspired to do something to help Charlie cherish his presumptive last days.

“We told her she could maybe eventually become a cancer researcher and help stop this from happening in the future,” said Zoran Ivkovich, Dora’s father. “She said, ‘Yeah, yeah, but what can I do now?’”

Resulting from that question is “Charlie and the Hump Sisters,” a play based on Charlie — the main character has no fatal diagnosis but the two do share a love for camels and the Potter Park Zoo. Dora wrote the 28-page story, which was then turned into a play with help from Bill Gordon, the director of Mid-Michigan Family Theatre.

The hope is next weekend’s performances will be entertaining for Charlie and will raise some much needed funds for the Waller family. Charlie is currently on a very restrictive and expensive diet to starve the brain tumor cells.

“Theater has the opportunity to address the needs of the community,” Gordon said, “and it’s well worth the time and effort to bring these things to light.”

All ticket sales and additional donations will benefit the Waller family’s medical expenses.

Charlie and the Hump Sisters

Mid Michigan Family Theatre, 440 Frandor Avenue, Lansing
Saturday, Sept. 17 – Sunday, Sept. 18
4 p.m.
Tickets are $10, and freewill donations are appreciated
Learn more about Charlie’s story at