Robert Letscher doesn’t possess the healing powers of Wolverine, his favorite X-Men character. But his lifelong fascination with the Marvel Comics series could finance his expensive healthcare costs.
The Mesa, Ariz., resident was diagnosed last year with lymphoma, which went into remission after treatment. Then he discovered he has esophageal cancer. After resection surgery, the cancer spread to the lymph nodes, requiring further treatment.
While he’s covered through the insurance his wife, Cathy, has through her job, the deductibles and copays piled up to $20,000 to $30,000, pushing the family of four to its financial edge. So Letscher, 55, turned to his comic book collection, a trove estimated to be worth at least $500,000, according to Vincent Zurzolo, chief operating officer of ComicConnect, which operates like an eBay for vintage comics.
The auction of Letscher’s collection of 500-plus volumes on ComicConnect began Aug. 19 and runs until Sept. 13.
“All I have is the X-Men collection that I’ve been improving all my life,” Letscher told the Arizona Republic. “I’ll have peace of mind that if my struggle is unsuccessful against the cancer, at least I did provide for my family and they are going to be taken care of financially in my absence.”
Even though selling the comics could save his life and offer financial stability, it’s bittersweet for the family. “Everyone in our house has been sad,” Cathy said. “He was so proud of his collection.”