In March of 2006, Charlie Lustman was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer (Osteosarcoma) in his upper jaw bone. After two major surgeries and a year of adjuvant (supplemental) chemotherapy, Charlie survived the ultimate challenge and did so by returning to his first passion, music. Remarkably, Charlie was fitted with a prosthetic replacement jaw which enabled Charlie to get back on stage singing better than ever before!
During the last stages of his chemotherapy, Charlie began writing about his cancer experience . One song after the other began to tell the complete story from his diagnosis, through treatment and recovery. He completed his collection entitled, Made Me Nuclear , in the fall of 2007.
Charlie was inspired to take this new collection of songs to The City Of Hope cancer center in Duarte, California, and began singing the work for cancer patients and staff every Sunday for three months. The reaction to the work was phenomenal and Charlie decided to transform the music into a theatrical adaptation, eventually producing Made Me Nuclear the operetta at The Santa Monica Playhouse. The show opened on September 5, 2008 and ran for 88 performances over eleven months. It was a great success and Charlie has been out on the road ever since! The Musical HOPE Campaign across America and the world is Charlie’s answer to cancer. Bringing his positive and inspirational musical message to theatres, cancer centers, and health conferences, Charlie is doing what he was left on the Planet to do: making a difference to everyone going through the ultimate challenge.