Muppeteer Michael Earl has colon cancer, is uninsured; muppet fans raise funds for his care.

BB reader Tony Teofilo says,

Master puppeteer Michael Earl (he did The Muppet Movie, Sesame Street, and many others) has Stage 3 Colon Cancer and no insurance. Any chance you could let the happy mutants know via BoingBoing? Swazzle is having a benefit sale for him 10/20; there is also a donation page if people want to help with his medical costs.

Michael is maintaining a personal blog about his treatment here. This post about how he found out is both sad and informative. The tl;dr: lack of insurance kept him from getting imagine and a resulting diagnosis, so a friend suggested he enroll in a study for constipation advertised on Craigslist. Scans would be included for all participants. Snip:

At Puppet School, we had a student interning with us learning to make puppets. Her name is Amy Smith and one day she tells me she saw a post on craigslist for a research study on constipation. She suggested I call them because it may help, plus they pay $50 a visit. So I called and left a message. One week went by and no returned call so I forgot about it.

Then suddenly one day my phone rang with a guy asking if I was still interested in the study. In that phone call he told me they would pay me $100 to go get a colonoscopy. So I signed up and within 4 days was having the procedure. After I woke up, the doctor came in and said, "Well there's just one way to tell you this, and that's just to tell you that you have cancer." He showed me some photos of it he took during the colonoscopy. There was one that showed this large gray mass growing around the colon. Very ominous looking. Then he told me it looks like I've had it for awhile. And then told me I would likely need a combination of surgery, chemo and radiation.

So that's how I learned I had cancer. Shocking, but I had been wondering for months so I was kind of prepared for the news.

So now the journey begins…