Cancer survivor brings musical mission to Siteman Cancer Center

You've probably never heard of him, but you will after this story.

ST. LOUIS - Singer, songwriter and musician Charlie Lustman travels to cancer centers around the world to inspire patients and caregivers. He visited Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis Wednesday to share his unique story. 

Lustman was diagnosed in 2006 with bone cancer of the jaw. After going through 11 months of treatment, including the removal of his jaw,  he wrote a collection of songs, “Made Me Nuclear,” that detail his journey from diagnosis to treatment, recovery and beyond.

“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you sing better,” Charlie said.

He has been visiting cancer centers for nine years bringing hope and encouragement to other patients. His brief visits make a big impact on those he visits.

In London, while singing in a very conservative hospital, a woman came up to him after his performance.  Lustman shared their conversation.

“One woman grabbed me by the arm and said she had an incurable cancer. 'They say I have a few months to live, but having you come in here and sing for me, makes me feel good about my life today, makes me feel like everything is going to be OK no matter what they say, thank you,'” he said, remembering the conversation.

He also had an impact at Siteman.

“If one can make it, another one can make it also,” said Henry Smith, a patient receiving chemo treatment.  “You have to keep a positive attitude, he put a smile on my face.”

Lustman chooses to see the positive in life and not dwell on the negative.

“If you see something in a positive way you can actually enjoy your day, because as they say it’s not about how much time you have on the planet, it’s what you do with the time that you have,” Lustman said.

To learn more about Lustman’s music and his mission visit mademenuclear.com.


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