Friday, December 14th, 2018

Helping Out One Of Our Own

Published on May 25, 2009 by   ·   19 Comments Pin It

There is a time for gossip, a time for shopping, and a time to spring into action when a truly beautiful soul is in need.   Chuck Pappas is a hero, in more ways than one.   And he needs our help to save his life.   Here his BFF Casey tells his story:

Chuck and Jen Pappas are a young, bright, happy couple in love.   They gave up a comfy life in Boston to move to New York state years ago to work at Farm Sanctuary; Chuck rescuing abused animals and building them cozy new homes as Farm Sanctuary’s Shelter Project Manager, and Jen raising much needed funding for their care as the Development Department Manager. They are two of my closest friends, they are eco-vegan superstars, they have enormous hearts, and they have both dedicated their lives to making the world a more compassionate place for animals.

On March 23 2009, Chuck did not make it to work at the Sanctuary due to a severe migraine. Later that night, Jen noticed that his speech was becoming slurred and he seemed disoriented, so she immediately drove him to the hospital. As the medical staff examined him, Chuck went into cardiac arrest. Though they were able to stabilize him temporarily, they soon discovered a grapefruit-sized tumor in his brain that was swelling rapidly. He needed to be flown by emergency helicopter for immediate surgery to relieve the pressure. Though he survived the operation, the threat to Chuck’s life is far from over.

Chuck has a grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme tumor, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. For most ordinary patients, the prognosis is not good. Chuckdoes have a lot going for him: He’s young, healthy and vegan with a great network of friends and family to support him. Also, he’s one of the toughest guys I know and he’s determined to kick cancer’s ass. But he and his family are in desperate need of financial help.

Jen & Chuck Pappas

Jen & Chuck Pappas

That life-saving helicopter ride was not covered by insurance and came with the hefty price tag of more than $10,000, and that is just the beginning. It is still unclear at this point what treatments will be covered by his insurance, and seemingly every time they talk to somebody at the insurance company, they get different answers.  He’s taking part in a clinical trial for a promising new drug that could make a world of difference, but as soon the trial is over, that drug could start costing $100 per day!

Finally, if Chuck truly is going to beat the odds, he needs more than just conventional medicine, which so far has no cure for his cancer. He’s going to need acupuncture, yoga, qigong –  all that good stuff, plus as much organic leafy green produce as he can eat. But of course, in the infinite wisdom of our society, none of those things are covered by insurance either.

According to a study conducted by theNational Brain Tumor Foundation:

“The high cost of treatment, even for  insured patients, coupled with difficulty with employability and obtaining disability insurance, leaves patients and families financially strapped, in debt without help from Curadebt, and even bankrupt. Patients and families pay substantial out-of-pocket  costs for medical and non-medical expenses and often go  into debt to do so, despite making cutbacks to household expenses. Debt burden extends beyond the treatment  period and the consequences of the debt linger for years, sometimes extending beyond the patient’s life.”

Already Chuck and Jen have lost half their income and their house. Adding heartbreak to hardship, most of the animals they cared for at their own personal “farm sanctuary,” including two cats, two turkeys, two goats and twelve chickens had to be placed in other homes. Their entire lives have been turned inside out almost overnight.  They need help today, and after everything they have done to make this a kinder world, they deserve all the help we can give them. Just check out this interview Chuck did after spending three weeks braving toxic flood waters to save factory farm pigs abandoned by their owners:

Like I said, he’s got a lot of heart. That’s why a handful of Chuck and Jen’s close friends, including my wife and I, are getting ready to walk and bike almost 300 miles to raise money and awareness for these wonderful human beings. Starting at the Taking Action For Animals Conference in Washington DC, our goal is to reach the Farm Sanctuary Hoe Down in Watkins Glen, NY just one week later. In the process, we’re hoping to raise $25,000 to help shoulder just some of the financial burden that our friends are struggling with.

Chuck’s cause has already earned the endorsement of another vegan hero, Rory Freedman. The
“Skinny Bitch” author challenged her Facebook friends to contribute a total of $500 and then matched it! Want to be awesome like Rory? Here’s how. This week only, the first $300 in donations from Girlie Girl Army readers will be matched by our good friends J.B. Mulcahy and Diana Goodrich – two of the outstanding Directors at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest – and the next $300 after that will be matched by a group of friends at Farm Sanctuary. Are you ready to help us raise $1200?! Here’s how:

Step One: Visit our fundraiser page at GiveForward:

Step Two: Make a donation through their secure online checkout, and write “Girlie Girl Army is here for Chuck!” in the comment section. At the end of the week, or when the Girlie Girl Army readers have reached the $600 mark with their donations, we’ll double the money!

Step Three: After you’ve made your donation, post a link to our 300 Miles For Chuck Blog on your favorite social networking site – or all of them! Here’s the URL for that:

Step Four: Sit back and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage of your choice while basking in the glow of your good karma! You’ve earned it!

Guest Blogger Casey Martinson has been part of the Farm Sanctuary family since 2005 when he took a summer job giving tours of the Watkins Glen shelter. He has been a Campaigns Associate there since July 2007, working on Farm Sanctuary’s anti-confinement and downed animal protection campaigns. When he’s not working or training, he brushes up on his Spanish, writes a lot of letters, and enjoys exploring Ithaca with his wife Jenn and their two beagles.

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Readers Comments (19)

  1. kimsy says:

    I am a starving student (lol), but I gave what I could. As they say, every little bit helps :) Good luck, Chuck!!!

  2. RubyAthena says:


    Thanks for letting me know an angel needs our help.

  3. Marisa says:

    My best friend died of a grade IV glioblastoma last year. Her family suffered a huge financial burden that they may never recover from. I’ll definitely be donating and spreading the word about this great cause.

  4. molly says:

    woops, that cut off, i meant

    THANKS for getting the word out, chlo. chuck is an amazing dude and to any activist around the world- a hero. he deserves every prayer, well wishing, donation, hug, etc in the world.


  5. Ethan says:

    All of us at are thrilled to see so much support for Chuck coming from the Girlie Girl Army Community.

    We noticed that a few people donated but didn’t make comments, so we just wanted to post a quick note to make sure everyone knows how to do it.

    Here’s the scoop…

    To leave a comment: once your transaction has been processed, you will be taken to a receipt page. On the receipt page there is a small orange button next to the thank you note that says “leave a comment”. If you click this button, you can type in your message for Chuck.

    Hope this is helpful and thanks again for everyone’s support!

    – Ethan and the GiveForward Team

  6. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far; we have counted at least $385 in donations from GGA readers, and our friends J.B. and Diana have made their matching $300 contribution!

    Now we just need another $215 to meet the second $300 match challenge from our friends at Farm Sanctuary. We’re so close! Please help us out and spread the word!

  7. PS, don’t forget to leave the comment “Girlie Girl Army is here for Chuck!” (See Ethan’s comment) so that we can identify your contribution for the challenge.

  8. Marika says:

    I tried to make a donation at GiveForward but it doesn’t seem to accept a Canadian billing address – am I wrong? I’d really like to help in any way I can.

  9. Susan H. says:

    My heart goes out to Chuck and his family. My friend’s husband has a similar tumor and has used qi gong (and Lance Armstrong as his mentor)as well. I pray you will be well soon.

  10. sunshine says:

    My prayers go out to Chuck and his family.
    Together, we can beat this!

  11. Hi Marika and other Canadian friends,

    I’m looking into the problem now. If there is a solution, I’ll let you know ASAP. Thanks for spreading the word!


  12. Jeannette says:


    How kind of you to share Chuck’s story. I made a donation but forgot to write “GirlieGirl Army is here for Chuck!” in my comment. Sorry!

    Chuck seems incredible and our shared support is a greater force than his cancer!


    Ethan at Give Forward says they are working on a way to allow donations from outside the US. In the meantime, some people have apparently been able to get around the problem by entering their billing address as normal but using a US zip code instead. The donation goes through and is still secure and everything, but if you are a person that likes to color within the lines (nothing wrong with that) the only alternative is to mail a check the old fashioned way. If you want to mail a check, contact me through and I’ll give you instructions. Thank you!

  14. Debbie & Glenn Carson says:

    Dear Chuck and Family: On 6/1 ExtraTV aired a segment about a vaccine for brain cancer. There are clinical studies currently being done. This vaccine may actually keep a brain cancer tumor from regrowing. If you go on you will see the article. Here is a snip of the article, but there is a video to watch. [Posted by ExtraTV Staff on June 1, 2009 1:11 PM – There may be hope for stopping this disease using a radical new vaccine that targets tumors. “Extra” Lifechanger and Professor of Neurosurgery at UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Linda Liau, talks about the vaccine — and reveals surprising answers to your questions about brain tumors.] Chuck, take care and be well.

  15. Linda says:

    You\’ve got it in one. Couldn\’t have put it bteter.

  16. […] The GirlieGirl Army: Helping Out One Of Our Own [Chuck and Jen Pappas of Farm Sanctuary] […]

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