Campaign is raising money to support Merlino’s hospice care
A GoFundMe campaign was launched on Wednesday for Cartoon/Fantasy Organization co-founder Mark Merlino to help fund his hospice care.
While the GoFundMe was originally launched to help pay for Merlino’s medical bills after he was hospitalized on December 23 after suffering three micro strokes, the campaign updated on Friday to announce that Merlino was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer, and friends and family are arranging for hospice care. The campaign has raised US$39,983 as of press time.
Merlino is known as one of the co-founders of the first anime club in North America, the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (C/FO). Merlino himself documented the history of the organization in a blog post in April 2020.
Merlino and noted anime historian Fred Patten founded the organization in Los Angeles in 1977. The organization went on to have other chapters across the United States. Patten died in November 2018.
Merlino is also known as one of the founders of the Furry fandom, organizing the yearly ConFurence event.