Myself, along with an amazing group of artists are holding an auction in support of our friend and fellow illustrator Cyril Van Der Haegen as he deals with a rare, life-threatening illness.
Here is more information from the website of Dave Seeley:
Cyril has had an on-going series of seemingly minor health problems that have kept him feeling cruddy for the last couple of years. Late in 2011, he went to see a doctor about one of these, and after a blood test, they rushed him to the emergency room for treatment because of dangerously low blood platelets. He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or ITP. It’s a form of Leukemia which causes his immune system to destroy the platelets in his blood. Symptoms include fatigue, and lack of blood coagulation if he is cut or bleeding. ITP is a chronic condition, and current treatments have a 50% cure rate. In Cyril’s case, even the newest “wonder drugs” have proven ineffective in reversing his condition. He is currently on the drug Promacta to keep his platelets from plummeting. When they fall below a critical level, he has to go to the hospital for a day of intravenous platelet booster. That has been happening about once every three weeks. To determine why the standard drug therapies were ineffective in reversing his ITP, Cyril had a bone-marrow biopsy, and was diagnosed with a second disease called smoldering Myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells. It’s called ‘smoldering’ because the cancer isn’t growing aggressively. While it hasn’t infected Cyril’s bones or organs at this point, it is an incurable condition, and the best hope is to keep it in remission. In addition, Cyril has had ongoing severe joint pain, and his doctors have not yet been able to diagnose the cause. To date, medications have made him further fatigued, and resulted in nausea and a loss of focus. Ultimately, if there is no upswing in his platelet production through drug therapy, Cyril may need to have his spleen removed, which should eliminate the ITP, but not the Myeloma.
As you can imagine, Cyril is also fighting to keep his spirits up. As is the case with many artists, Cyril is self-employed and uninsured. Fortunately, he is able to work, and has qualified for very low-cost medical assistance from a good local hospital. We are organizing this auction as a way to help him deal with the uncovered costs, as well as his living expenses while he undergoes treatment. It’s our hope that a strong response to this effort will help bolster his spirits as well as his finances.
For updates on Cyril’s health and well-being, you can check in on his Facebook Page.
The plan is to run an auction over the span of San Diego Comic Con, July 11-15th, with a parallel auction on eBay ending on Saturday July 14th. The original art will be on display at Dave Seeley’s booth: 4600. The eBay auctions will begin on July 4th. Winners could pick up their winnings on Sunday July 15th, at Comicon, or have them shipped.
Click here to see the art that has been completed to date. You can also subscribe to this gallery by RSS Feed by clicking the icon at the bottom of the gallery.
100% of the profits from this auction will go to assist Cyril in his ongoing struggle with his illness.