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Creator of 'Operation' game can't pay for his own operation

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John Spinello's friends are raising $25,000 for his surgery

The man who created classic children's game Operation is crowdfunding his own surgical operation. The 77-year-old is currently wrestling medical expenses, and is need of $25,000 to pay for oral surgery. Thanks to the nature of the business arrangement he struck in his twenties, creator John Spinello was never paid more than the $500 for his work, and cannot claim royalties from the sales of his invention. The game was a household sensation for millions, spawning numerous spin-offs since it was first introduced in 1965.

In a show of camaraderie, his friends Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown created a funding campaign over at Crowdrise, where they've raised more than $9,000. Those who can't afford to donate to the cause are invited to write a letter detailing their appreciation for the inventor. It's also possible to purchase an autographed copy of Operation from the website dedicated to Spinello.