Lymphoma survivor from North Huntingdon raising funds for leukemia society
A North Huntingdon man who recently celebrated one year in remission from lymphoma is raising money for research into fighting blood cancer.
Charles Colletti, 53, a business development manager for Touch of Color Flooring, is among a group of 12 candidates — six men and six women — competing for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Western Pennsylvania & West Virginia Chapter’s Man and Woman of the Year.
The candidates nine from Allegheny County and one each from Washington, Westmoreland and Indiana counties, have formed fundraising teams and are competing in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors. A celebration of the philanthropic competition will be held May 11 in the PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Colletti beat stage 4 follicular lymphoma in August 2016 after enduring an intense seven-month chemotherapy regimen. Colletti said he remained in remission until September 2017, when the cancer returned in a more aggressive form.
“I then went through four weeks of cancer drug infusions to see if that would work on slowing or stopping the cancer progression, but unfortunately it didn’t,” Colletti said.
Colletti said he received new re-engineered cells in February 2018 through an immunotherapy clinical trial, Car T cell therapy, at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh.
“Although I experienced very brutal side effects, spent a week in ICU with … serious issues, I am so happy to say that I am currently in clinical remission,” Colletti posted on his fundraising page.
As a candidate for the Man of the Year honors, Colletti is continuing his efforts to raise money for the organization. He will be named the Man of the Year if he raises the most money. Local winners are entered into a competition for National Men & Woman of the Year titles.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has raised more than $1 billion for research to advance breakthrough therapies, such as immunotherapies, that are saving thousands of lives and research into targeted therapies.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .