(CNN) -- John Spinello created the game of “Operation” nearly 50 years ago. Since then, millions have attempted to remove small plastic body parts from Cavity Sam without lighting up his red nose and hearing that sweat-inducing BUZZ.
In a weird twist of fate, Spinello now needs an operation himself—one he can’t afford, according to a Crowdrise fundraiser launched by his friends.
Hasbro, the current seller of “Operation,” is planning to purchase Spinello’s original game prototype in hopes that “the funds will help to defray his medical costs,” the company said in a statement Friday.
It will be displayed at Hasbro’s global headquarters in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to honor Spinello’s contribution to gaming history.
Spinello, 77, told the Huffington Post that he needs $25,000 in oral surgery.
“John has had a good life, but has admitted to us that he is struggling to pay his bills and is in need of a medical procedure without sufficient insurance coverage,” professional game inventors Tom Walsh and Peggy Brown wrote on Crowdrise.
“We launched this Crowdrise fundraiser to call on anyone who has ever played and loved Operation to send John a note and maybe, a monetary gift of appreciation.”
Fans can also purchase an autographed copy of the classic game in honor of its upcoming 50th anniversary.
Spinello was paid $500 for “Operation,” which he sold to a toy invention firm, according to the website ILoveOperation.com. Because of the deal he cut, Walsh says, he was not entitled to royalties from the game. “Operation” was originally licensed to Milton Bradley.
The fundraiser page has surpassed its $25,000 goal by more than $4,000.
We just hope Spinello’s doctors are better at his game than we ever were.
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