"I've talked to a lot of my friends, and we think Steve is the first guy to every use backer boards and bags to protect his comic book collection," said Gary Colabuono, who once owned a chain of comic book stores and has helped Landman prepare for the auction.
Landman said he wasn't thinking about some future payday. He was just a huge fan of superheroes and a meticulous kid intent on keeping his comics in the best shape possible.
That quality has carried forward into Landman's adulthood, as he now faces the rare disease.
One possible treatment for anti-MAG IgM peripheral neuropathy is an aggressive form of chemotherapy, though one expert said the treatment is not always effective. And if it does work, it also can stop working, said Dr. Louis Weimer, co-director of Columbia Neuropathy Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center. He said some patients decide against the treatment because the powerful drug compromises the immune system.
Landman said he doesn't want to put himself at risk for other diseases because of a weakened immune system.
"I would love to hear from one person, any doctor ... or one patient with it who has found something that helped him in any way," he said.
So, he's pinning his hopes on the money and publicity from the auction.
Landman said he's hoping there might be someone who as a kid shared his love for comics — a doctor or researcher, perhaps — who might know something that he can use for the last chapter of a book about his life he's toyed with writing.
"I don't want to write a book without a happy ending," he said. "Until I get something, I don't want to go there."
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