Community rallies around Orangeville man battling cancer

July 6, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A former teacher at Orangeville District High School who is battling Stage 4 lung cancer is receiving a lot of support from the community after a GoFundMe campaign was started to help with the cost of medications he needs.

Michael Colautti, 59, spends $9,000 per month on medication, with other medications costing $5,000.

After suffering symptoms during the pandemic lockdown, Mr. Colautti had to attend the emergency room after having difficulty breathing. He was diagnosed with a collapsed left lung that was filled with fluid.

Testing revealed Stage 4 lung cancer. He had to leave teaching as a result.

Further testing revealed the cancer was a ROS1-EZR gene fusion. This form of lung cancer has a targeted therapy available called Entrectinib. Within a few months, symptoms eased, and Mr. Colautti was able to resume some of his normal activities.

In February 2023, the cancer returned one year after treatment was started. He returned to teaching in November 2022 in order to pay for the cancer therapy but was again forced to leave.

Mr. Colautti’s niece, Carleigh Montello, started a GoFunMe campaign to raise funds to help offset some of the financial challenges related to his illness.

Carleigh has described Mr. Colautti as a “super-dad,” being very involved in the lives of his daughters, Brynn and Keira.

Carleigh’s goal is to raise $40,000 to not only assist Mr. Colautti but also help with his daughter’s future expenses in post-secondary education. As of July 5, the fund had raised $22,780, with a goal of $40,000.

Carleigh has worked hard to spread the word about this fundraiser but admits it is difficult as she also has a full-time job.

“We have relied a lot on the community which as gotten us to where we are,” Carleigh said. “It has been incredible seeing the stories posted about my uncle from past and present students he has taught, strangers, distant friends, and family. This is an upstanding man whom (after a lifelong career in service to the community’s youth) I believe should be acknowledged by ensuring that his daughters have every day possible with him so that their focus be on their remaining time together.”

The current fundraising effort has hit a lull, but there is plenty of time for people to step up and donate.

To support Colautti and his family through the GoFundMe, visit

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