In two days we will be debuting our trailer for OPERATION:Operation. In a few short weeks, our IndieGoGo campaign to seed the film’s budget with $50,000 will launch. We are 1/2 done with filming and are on schedule to complete the remainder of filming by September 15th. For more on the film, download our Project Summary. We hope you’ll consider supporting our film. Here’s why:
1) John’s story of inspiration, heartbreak, anonymity, hardship, kindness and validation is amazing and deserves to be told.
2) Play matters. How we play and what we play with as kids effects who we become. This is evident in the scores of letters John received from nurses, doctors and even surgeons, who credit his game as an inspiration for them to enter the medical field. The Power of Play is a main theme of the film, and it’s a conviction worth spreading.
We launched this campaign for John in October, not really knowing what to expect. He needed an operation he couldn’t afford and we were in a position to help. So we set a goal of raising $25,000 for him and believed that we’d get there. Six months later and it’s safe to say that we’re all grateful, exhausted and reeling with the thought, “Did that really happen?”
After the Huffington Post broke the news, other media outlets picked up on it and soon John’s story was unfolding on Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. John flew to L.A. to appear on The Doctors.
Within 9 days the campaign raised the $25,000 and didn’t stop until it topped $32,000! Hasbro, who quietly supported the campaign from the start, came forward and agreed to buy John’s original prototype. The New York Times called. NBC Nightly News covered the story a second time and The Today Show came to John’s house. We heard from thousands of people all over the world who love Operation. Over 1,200 people donated and wrote to John to thank him for the fun. Some wrote to thank him for the inspiration.
“I guess I really enjoyed honing my skills on that board game. I’m currently a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Medical School…still trying to avoid that buzzer!!! Thanks for all the joy you’ve provided, all the careers you’ve launched, and (this is not a stretch!), all the lives you’ve probably saved.”
“I played with it for hours on end! Today I am a nurse with grown children of my own… the game sparked my curiosity in science and learning, which eventually set me on the path to choosing healthcare as a profession.”
“I remember playing your game…and wondering what it would really be like to be a doctor. I’m now a straight A student pursuing my dream of becoming a doctor. I’m eternally grateful.”
“Thanks to you my brother and I decided to be doctors (it was the first gift my mother gave to him in Italy and then I played too!), and he works as a surgeon in Italy and I work in NY!”
“My sister and I played your game countless times growing up. As it turned out, maybe you had an influence on us because we are now both doctors!”
“Everyone in the medical field–myself included–have [your] creation to thank, for sparking the flame in us!”
We set up this website and received over 500 more letters here. One in particular, from a surgeon and teaching professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, brought us to tears. He shared a story of invention and connection that’s so incredible, it has inspired us to tell John’s unfolding story as a documentary film. As John plans for his oral surgery next month, we’re planning to share John’s journey with the world. We need $400,000 to make the film we want to make. We’ll be approaching companies and organizations for underwriting and launching a crowdsourced fundraiser soon. We’ve stepped out in faith and have already begun shooting. We believe that we’ll get there. Stay tuned for a sneak peak trailer comming soon!
If you contributed to our campaign for John in any way, thank you. Because of this outpouring of support, encouragement and gratitude, most of it from perfect strangers, John has rediscovered his joy. But more than that, he’s discovered his legacy. He now knows that his invention has inspired others to do great things and that what we play with as children has a profound effect on who we become.
The Power of Play connects us all.
Becasue of you, we surpassed our goal of $25,000! The financial hardship extends beyond John’s medical needs, so THANK YOU for your continued generosity.
After John sold his game for $500, he built a successful warehouse company in Chicago. In 2008, when the bottom fell out of the market, John lost his largest customer and then his business. Having borrowed money against his house to try and save his company, John was forced to file for personal bankrupcy.
Today John still works at 77 years of age, earning less than $20,000 per year. Any gifts of appreciation and thanks you send will go a long way to help John and his family. Thank you very much!
In 1964, John Spinello invented an electric game where the object was to insert a metal wand into holes in the top layer of the board without touching the edges of the openings. If you failed to have a steady hand, a buzzer would sound and startle you with great delight. John sold his game to a toy invention firm for $500. The game was then licensed to Milton Bradley, modified and released a year later as the game we all love.
Over the years, the game of Operation has become a favorite to millions and entertained and delighted generations of people. John went into the warehouse business in Chicago and watched over the decades as the little electric game he designed spawned everything from socks, boxer shorts, purses, shower curtains, neck ties, greeting cards, and, of course, scores of licensed editions of Operation, including versions featuring Iron Man, Hulk, Shrek, The Simpsons, Star Wars, Cars and more.
Much has changed in 50 years. Although John only took home $500 from the many-million-selling global sensation that Operation has become, he’s content. He’s 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. We launched this site to call on anyone who has ever played and loved Operation to send John a note and maybe, a $3 gift of appreciation.
You can also give a gift over at our Crowdrise Funraiser for John at: https://www.crowdrise.com/HelpfortheInventorofOperation
Thank you for showing your love and appreciation to John and his family. Please consider sharing this site with your friends and family.
Playing Well with Others,
Dear John, STAY STRONG! DESIGNERS LOVE YOU!
Dear John, I purchased an autographed copy of the game and will keep it to play with my nieces. Love the game and remember having one back in the late 60s. Here’s to your health and wellness. – Manny
Hi John– In July of 1966, at the age of 11, I had to undergo a major surgical procedure. Fortunately, I recovered rather quickly, but the experience provoked a fascination with medicine, science, and in particular, the field of surgery. I was thrilled when I received a gift of an early version of “Operation” a short time later. I guess I really enjoyed honing my skills on that board game. I’m currently a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University Medical School, working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, still trying to avoid that buzzer!!! Thanks for all the joy you’ve provided, all the careers you’ve launched, and (this is not a stretch!), all the lives you’ve probably saved. Best wishes! – Steven J. Stryker, M.D., FACS, FACRS
Dear john , I’ve have been a fave as long as I can remember , my first game was the 1976 the best , i was sad to hear your story as it is very much a injustice of your work . As you have many people happy through having fun playing your game . This year I enter cake international in Birmingham in uk . First time I enter and I made the operation game . I got a merit which am very proud of . Once again your game made me smile and feel like a kid again with excitement. …Thank you for your time best wishes. – Janine Playle
Hello John, What a difference you have made in the lives of so many! Thank you for the joy you have brought to all of us, and now its our turn to try to give some of it back! All the best.
Dear John, My mom just brought to my attention your story posted in the newspaper. I still vividly remember receiving Operation for Christmas and the countless hours of fun my sister and I shared squabbling over that game even getting to the point of gambling with quarters! Perhaps your creation had something to do with my sister and I both going on to careers in healthcare. When I think back to favorite Christmas presents that one is right up there. Well done for such creativity and thank you for the years of fun. Makes me smile when I see my own girls playing with the updated version. Very best wishes to you. – Allison/Toronto, Canada
Hi John – I just wanted to say thank you for a great fun game that gave me many happy moments as a child (I could never get the wishbone though)… I was happy to help and happy to see you exceed the goal set. Efforts like this make me feel good about the world. It’s nice to know that kindness and compassion still exist as strong as they do! I hope things go better for you now and in the future. – Margo in Florida
Dear John, Speedy recovery to you. Ellie (my niece) and I cherish the moments that we played your game. Thank you very much for such a wonderful invention. Every time we see your game, it reminds us of fun, laughter and priceless memories 🙂 – Tita Luisa & Ellie
P.S. It’s Ellie’s birthday today 🙂 We know you’ve surpassed your goal but still want to contribute, share with you & make you smile in our small little way.
Dear John, You made us laugh when we were little kids and we bought the new “operation” when we were 30… just to find out it was still as funny! We are so happy we were able to reach the goal together with all the people from all around the world who love you for what you’ve done. Good luck! – Miriam and Serena from Italy.
I see you have already surpassed your $25,000 goal, but I wanted to contribute still anyways. Especially given that your great invention provided countless hours of fun and playful challenge in my childhood! Hope you get better soon, John. – Elizabeth 🙂
Dear John, Operation was the first board game my mom bought me and my brother when we first came to the US many years ago. The fun and laughter that game brought us was so pivotal in erasing so many bad memories we had just left behind. I may be an old geezer now but I will never forget how happy your game made me feel. Truly an iconic piece of my childhood. Thank you and many good wishes and blessings to you. – M.P.S
Love your game and hope you have your operation soon. I hope you know how many smiles your game has put on our faces through the years! Sending you prayers. – Ali
Dear John, I am from Germany and Operation is called ‘Dr. Bibber’ here. I remember playing it at day-care after school with my friends or with my brother at home, fighting about who’s turn it is :). Your story is amazing and disappointing at the same time (the fact that you never got that job is just unfair beyond words). I really want to help you like all the others, and though there’s not so much I can spare I will send something. Lots of Love!
Dear John, what a shame to see your invention be ripped away bc you needed money at the time. However, if it wasnt for YOU, it wouldnt exist. Thankyou for endless screams of laughter from me and my sister in our early years. my kids will get the same excitement i had when they receive a truly iconic hand-me-down. Best of luck John, big man upstairs was with you at every moment and knows you deserve the warmth of every laugh and smile that ‘Operation’ brought to millions, combined. Thank you again. – Alex & Maggie aka surgeon experts thanks to you
I was very excited to get this game for Christmas when I was 8. I loved playing it with my father and my friends. The tension and excitement building, as we tried to avoid the sides of metal, while pulling out the pieces with the tweezers. We’d jump with fright and be disappointed when we heard the buzzer, but we’d be elated and proud with joy if we got the piece out with no noise. We felt victorious! What a challenging game, to be steady and precise. This took much concentration, but was so much fun at the same time. All the best to you John. Your invention gave everyone so much happiness and fond memories and you can surely be proud of that! – Lori
Just wanted to let you know that I have Operation as a “rainy day” recess game for my third grade classroom. It is still very popular! Just last week, students were playing it. I loved it as a kid and so do my students. – Mrs. J Frisinger
Thank you for creating the Operation game and giving fans of all ages a super fun game to play with. Your story truly touched me and I wish you all the best. God bless. – Tiffany
Dear John, Thank you so much for bringing immeasurable amounts of joys to my family. I had some very trying times during my childhood and this game brought such a bright light of laughter and peace when things weren’t going well. I received a brand new game for the first time and it’s such a treasure and brings back so many fond memories. God Bless you always 🙂 – Sophia
Hi papa it’s hailee I miss u I can’t wait to see you November 22 to help you at the toy fair I feel so happy for you. Love. – Hailee
Dear John, I stand trembling in terror, tweezers in hand wondering if I have the surgeons control. As my hand descends, a cold sweat breaks out on my forehead and my grip is clammy. My goal, the funny bone… BBBBZZZZZZZZZZ! Oh drat! Foiled again. Somehow the sweat is replaced with a smile. Your job is complete. Thanks for the memories. – Eric Ackerson/Charlotte NC.
Dear John, Thanks for hours and hours of fun when I was a child! I hope your operation is as much of a success as your game is!! Be well. – Annie
John, We grew up on a farm, not much money, and no friends close by to visit and play with. My brother and I got Operation for Christmas one year, and it provided us MANY hours of fun and laughs. Thank you for all the fun, and time spent with my brother. – Greg
I have great memories of enjoying your game as a child. It is a classic! I’m sorry to hear that you are in a bind, but I am happy to help. You’re in my prayers. Good luck!
Dear John, You are superb. I loved your game but your face was never printed on any of the box games. Not that I recalled. I would love to see an Anniversary Edition featuring YOU BEING OPERATED.
Dear John, I was so jealous of kids I knew who had Operation, something I really wanted and never got. I was always fascinated by the way it worked. I’m now doing a PhD in electronic engineering and this kind of thing was exactly what made me start wondering exactly how electricity worked. You truly created magic. Thanks.
Dear John, I bought my daughter an Operation back in the 70’s. She is hearing impaired and was attracted to the color of the game and the physicality of it as well. We just reminded her of the game and she remembered it immediately. She said she and her cousin loved to hear it beep! (Everyone feels their winning a different way!) Best of luck to you! – Francine Long, MD
John- I have tears in my eyes reading everyone’s stories of playing Operation. What a difference you have made in so many lives. I grew up on a wheat farm in western Nebraska and yep, play many hours of your wonderful game with my family and friends. I am now a doctor myself, a college professor…not exactly medical, but science. 🙂 I wish you a smooth and speedy recovery. – Dr. Namuth-Covert
Dear Mr. Spinello, Good luck for your health. Here in Italy several game designers and players spread the word about your situation and we all wish you a quick recovery. All the best. – Andrea
Dear John, I just heard of this and wanted you to know I wish you the best. I loved my operation game as a child & went on to nursing school & practice still in an Emergency department. You can for sure take some credit for this! I am glad to contribute to your cause . Take care. – Resa
I didn’t have many friends growing up. I remember playing your game with my parents and wondering what it would really be like to be a doctor. I’m now a straight A student pursuing my dream of becoming a doctor. You’ve not only created a fun game, but you’ve inspired people like me to go out and follow their dreams. I’m eternally grateful. I hope you get well soon! – Brandy
Get Well soon John. Thanks for the memory’s and the more memory’s to come. Love and God Bless.
I played your game when I was a kid. I was rarely that good, so I knew I should not try to be a doctor. 🙂 It was fun to play and I’m buying an autographed version to keep my veterinarian sister sharp on the job. Thanks for a memories I will never forget.
Dear John, Thank you so much for the game of operation one of my favorite memories of my childhood are the times I spent playing it with my Brothers, Sisters. It’s great to see Grandkids now enjoying the same fun we did. I am so thankful you will be able to have your surgery and we are praying for you. God Bless you John you are a wonderful man!
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful invention with the world! Your game was one of my favorites! I enjoyed it so much! You are amazing!
Dear John, Congratulations on the invention of Operation! Genius. Nothing like it had been seen hitherto…totally new. It’s an awesome game we played with passionately and feverishly, no pun intended!), for years. Oral surgery…no fun…but it’s so great you’ll be able to get it done. I hope you raise $25 million….you deserve it. If the toy Company was honorable they’d have extended royalties to you for these decades. – Zuzu
Hello sir, What can I say but thank you for the wonderful game and the wonderful childhood memories this game brought me. I had a lot of fun playing it for as long as I can remember! I hope you get better and I wish you all the best! – Hank Yeomans
John, So excited your fans have all pitched in to help you!! You brought many years of entertainment to me and my family. Now to my grandkids. May God be with you during your operation. The world loves you. You should be and I know you are feeling so blessed…God bless. – Ginger
Dear John, Thank you so much for such a wonderful game, I always jumped when the buzzer sounded. Fond memories. Wanted to send prayers for your surgery and to you, family and loved ones. – Billie
Hello John. My name is TJ I’m 16 and I played Operation religiously when I was a kid. I just wanted to say thank you for making such an awesome game and I hope you get well soon!
John, Our daughter had a party for her graduation from residency. We made her a cake with a picture of the operation game on top! It was a big hit.
I remember playing Operation, my children have played Operation and my grandchildren have played Operation. You have brought such joy to so many. May God bless you and you loved ones as you go through your “Operation.”
Dear John, I’m very sad to hear that you’re in trouble, but I’m sure that all the passion and love that you created for all kids will pay you back. Thanks to you my brother and I decided to be doctors (it was the first gift my mother gave to him in Italy and then I played too!), and he works as a surgeon in Italy and I work in NY! Good luck for all!.. everything will be fine! All my love for you! – Angela
Just made my donation and hope the operation is a success. For the record my favourite is Simpsons operation, it makes us giggle every time Homer’s nose lights up and he starts cursing. Best wishes! – Jen/ Nottingham, UK
Dear John, I was raised in the military and spent most of my childhood overseas, but of course we still had access to many of the comforts of home. In 1974, while stationed in the Philippines, my brother gave me your wonderful game as a Christmas gift. I actually have a photo with me, my brother and my mother gathered around the board that morning. My entire family has enjoyed playing OPERATION for many years afterward. Thank you for the great memories!
I wasnt able to donate much but honored to help in any small way. Your brother in law Tom is a dear friend of mine who I just saw in person for the tims since 4th grade. And I always looked up to and admired his sister from afar. Good luck and God Bless!!
Loved your game, the whole challenge of dexterity and focus is a needed skill to learn as a child, this is why your game is probably so memorable to me. Thank you! – Jetson
Dear John, I was nine. I wanted Operation soooo badly, but it cost nine dollars…my neighbor gave it to me for my birthday because her dad was “rich.” We played for hours!
Thank you John for improving my childhood education early and helping me ace many tests later down the road. It’s people like you who make the biggest difference in society that we need more of! I hope all goes well for you. – Jennifer in Oregon
Mr. Spinello… Very many muchos gracias’s to you for so many years of operating funtime. I must admit my operating skills were polished many a time during the “writers cramp” proceedure…! You are truly a gem and one of a kind. Wishing you well and a speedy recovery. – Clayton /Los Angeles
Dear John, Thank you so much for the wonderful game you have invented. God Bless you
God Bless you! It’s an honor to donate and help you in your time of need…i have many fond memories of being zapped while playing operation with my siblings. May God watch over you during your recovery
I loved this game growing up. I dreamed of being a doctor and operating on people. Too bad John didn’t get the job that he was promised or any royalties. Hope your surgery goes well. Thanks for the fun that your game brought to me : )
Dear John, I had never heard your story before. I loved playing Operation when I was young and now I play it with my nieces and nephew. Thank you for your gift to my childhood. I have made a small gift and wish you the very best. – Wendee
Dear John, Your story is heart breaking yet uplifting that so many contributed in your time of need. It has inspired me to continue seeking help for my own medical fundraiser for a procedure to overcome a disability keeping me from contributing to society as much as I hoped. Wishing you the best for your surgery. – Anna Gardiner
I hope your surgery can be fully paid and you get well soon. I do hope you can do it! You deserve health as well as everybody else. Smile and be strong. Thank you! – Victoria
John, Thank you for the years of fun I had with Operation when I was a child. At 36 years old it brings back a lot of memories when I play the game with my kids. I wish you the best on your surgery. – The Antos Family
Dear John, Just wanted to let you know how much your games have meant to me as a child and now adult, my mom was a single African American female trying to raise three children on a very low salary, however she made sure our basic needs were met. So for Christmas she bought us an operations game which at the time I am sure she could not afford the game, but it was a wonderful gift (as we were always toys for tots kids) . We cherished the game and played it for hours and hours on end at a time and had the best time I still remember being the baby of the family and patiently waiting my turn to play. It is funny because I was thinking the other day how much I still love the game and now that I know your story, God is the one that gave you the idea and I can assure you will be blessed beyond measure. I pray that God would truly bless you in a most powerful way that people from around the world would give back to you what you so generously gave to us. Warm and loving memories. Thank you so much! – Pat Day/October 30th 2014
Dear John, thank you for the memories! My sister and I played your game countless times growing up. As it turned out, maybe you had an influence on us because we are now both doctors! I wish you a speedy recovery and am looking forward to my signed copy of the game. Maybe now I will finally be able to get the wishbone 🙂 – Lesley in Louisiana
Hi John I would like to personally than you for giving me the opportunity to play your game. I was a child who didnt have much when I was growing up an immigrant from Cuba but Santa Claus gave me this for Christmas after much intervention from my parents. It was one of the reasons I have been in healthcare for over 30 years, Thank you! – MiamiNice 57
As a video game designer who grew up playing board games, thank you for thinking outside the box and coming up with something exciting and new. Your ingenuity was an inspiration to kids like me who grew up wanting to create fun things to share with others.
Hi John – I was sorry to hear about your predicament. I spent many of my childhood and some of my college years playing Operation. Always a fun game! I am so sorry you weren’t compensated accordingly. I wish you all the best! Thank you again and Take Care – Maria
I still remember the day I received Operation as a gift, 35 years ago! Thank you for hours of unforgettable fun! I am so happy your operation cost is already reached!!! God bless you!
Thanks so much for a great game which I enjoyed so much as a kid. Now my kids will enjoy it, too! I just bought it in Istanbul, where it is also popular! Wishing you a speedy recovery!
WOW Mr. John Spinello, I am in such awe of your intelligence, talents, common sense and human decency. You are still so cool. I grew up loving “Operation”. I worked very hard at not trying to make the buzz sound. I still love YOUR GAME. It is a very happy memory of my childhood. I wish you and all of your family nothing but good. I do hope someone contacts you that may help you get back what was taken from you. I do hope your operation goes well. Many people still need you in this world. My son even has YOUR GAME. He’s now becoming a very thoughtful electrical engineer that just wants to do his job right and graduate. I can only hope he becomes as creative and as intelligent as you are (with a real heart like yours also). Hugs, health, love and laughter to all! – C
John, I grew up under very difficult circumstances. There was abuse and a divorce. One of the bright spots was receiving Operation as a gift. It brought a smile to a boy who truly needed one. I pray you will be restored to good health soon. My thanks and God Bless You! – Jeff Benson
Hi John. Touched and humbled by your story. Don’t feel awkward about taking the money – it’s not charity; it’s just a small slice of what you should have had long ago, and it’s our chance to give a little something back in exchange not only for all the joy you gave us as kids, but also from introducing our own kids to your creation and watching them laugh as we did.
Best game ever! We love you! – Lizzy
Hi John, When I was a kid at summer camp in the sixties, everyone had to bring a game or toy for the toy box. If it rained, we’d open the box. Your game was always the one everyone wanted to play with, so they had to set a time limit on your game and the game “Cooties” (a giant plastic ant that you put together). Thanks for the best part of being a kid. Good luck to you!
Dear John, This game is one of the memories I have of playing with my brother as a child before we were separated. Thank you so much! – Ada from Oz
John, You paid it forward so many years ago. The love’s coming back to you now. Thanks for such a fun, “non-boring” board game for us 1960’s kids. Sincerely, the not-so-little girl from Bethesda, MD! – Kim M.
Dear John, I spent hours playing and enjoying your game as a kid. My cousin, who had to wear leg braces for a few years, and I have such fond memories of sitting on the living room floor with her and passing the time with one of our favorite games, “Operation.” We enjoyed much laughter together and it truly helped her to pass time without thinking constantly about her condition. She and I are still close today and I will share the new game with her. I know it will bring back great memories of our childhoods. Thanks for your wonderful contribution to our early years. I wish you had received better compensation for your creative mind! Hopefully this campaign will show you just how many lives you have touched. Best wishes! – MG
Dear Mr. Spinello, I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for your contribution to my childhood. I had an Operation Game in 1964 and I loved it. I am trying to find an original on Ebay for my collection. I am trying to relive my childhood. Your game was one of the best ever conceived. I do hope you will have that surgery and that all goes well with it…along with the healing, too. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, sir. Thank you again and May God Bless You and Yours. – Tom N.
Hi John, I just donated on Crowdrise anonymously, but I wanted to say I loved this game as a child, and I bought if for my kids and we had many happy family moments with it, and you are truly a part of American culture, so thank you and god speed. – D. Dine
John! You keep fighting. Keep your faith strong bc your guardian angels are right beside you. Sending in my donation to you! Xoxo WITH SOOO MUCH LOVE from Oklahoma – Laura Norly p.s. I can never win at this game to this day haha
Dear John, Thank you for contributing to my childhood with your game of Operation. I played with it four hours on end! Today I am a nurse with grown children of my own. I am purchasing your autographed game as a reminder of my childhood and because the game sparked my curiosity in science and learning, which eventually set me on the path to choosing healthcare as a profession. I pray for successful treatment and a quick recovery you. God Bless.
Thank you for creating such a wonderfully addictive game! I loved playing this game when I was a child and dreamed of becoming a doctor. I never won, so I am fairly happy that I never became a doctor, since my hands aren’t nearly steady enough. I am, however, looking forward to playing this with my all of my friends’ children in the years to come. Thank you again.
John, Your game provided many wonderful memories. Although I’m now 58 years old, I ordered your autographed “gift” as it will still bring much joy and laughter to my family and provide special memories. Sincere Thanks and Best Wishes! – Carol
Thanks for all the magical childhood memories John. I kid you not, I was in LOVE with that game!!!!!! YOU deserve the royalties! – Renee
Hi John, I ordered the signed game and look forward to seeing my 55 yr old boyfriends face on Christmas. I know it will be his favorite gift. Just reading about you brought me back to the HOURS spent playing Operation and the joy it gave. I even bought it for my now 18 yr old son when he was young so he could experience the joy I had. Best of luck to you. – C
Dear John, Hi I’m Camryn you have inspired me for many many years since the age of 3 I’m 10 now so 7 years! I’m a student of Mrs.Jeffery’s class we all use your game every school day! With somthing we call “Sick Sentence Surgery.” We are given a sentence with a few punctuation and spelling errors so there is a student. That goes up and calls on people to correct them then if it is right we get somthing with the little pony things and get it we do this every day!!! I hope you are ok and feel much better you are an amazing person rember that!!
Dear John,You created some great memories for my family and friends oh so many years ago. We all jumped around the Christmas Tree when it was opened and started to play it right then and there. I just bought your signed edition and will keep this one forever. – P.E. O’Neil/Boston
Dear John, I met you in 2010 at the TAGIE awards and I’m in the toy and game industry. I’m so happy to see all of this outpouring of support for you. Thank you for inventing Operation. I played it as a child and as the head of Inventor Relations myself, I hope I can find an evergreen idea like Operation! All my best to you! – Tanya Thompson
Dear John, I always loved your game as a kid, but for some reason we never had any batteries in it. That didn’t stop me and my sister from playing it all the time, and arguing over whether the other person touched the sides or not. My heart broke for you when I read your story. You and your family are in my prayers.
John, we are so happy that you are receiving the recognition you so deserve. Our family, children and grandchildren, have enjoyed playing Operation over the years. Love, The McGuire’s
Dear John, What awesome childhood memories when I think back to Operation! Thank you so much! Hope my donations helps you get to your goal! Prayers and best wishes! – Kim!
Dear John, I LOVED that goofy game when I was young. I thought I was pretty good at it too. Not that it led to a career in medicine or anything…but lots of enjoyment! Thanks!!! – M.D., Glen Ellyn, IL
Good Luck John, and here is to not hearing that dreadful buzzing when your getting your surgery done =) I look forward to receiving the signed game I just purchased and am glad the proceeds are going to a good cause – YOU! Take care! – Dan
Mr. Spinello, Thank you for the fun times, the happy memories, and the pure childlike joy that has brightened so many lives (kids and adults) for so many years and, as shown here, surely will continue for many years to come! May you have your own many moments of joy and happiness for years to come! – MTB
Cher John amitié de France ou votre jeux a fait la joie de beaucoup de famille merci. – Stéphane
Dear John Spinello, My name is Taylor. I am a student in Modesto, California. In my class we use your game for grammar. My teacher has named this activity after Operation, it’s called Six Sentence Surgery . It is one of everybody’s favorite game. I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with your operation, and I would love to donate some money to you. – Taylor
Hi John. My name is Fallon and I am a 5th grader in California. My class and I use your game more than once a week for educational purposes. We do this thing called Sick Sentence Surgery. Our teacher writes a sentence that has spelling and punctuation errors on the board. Then we all write the correct way to spell the sentence in our Sick Sentence Surgery book. After that our teacher walks around the room until she sees that one of us has written the sentence correctly. That person gets to go up to the board and call on people to help them with the “sentence surgery.” If the person that gets called to help tells the person at the board the correct step to fix the sentence, they get to go try to pull out a piece from the operation board.
Hi Mr. Spinello, I’m Lauren, Our class uses your game, we call it Sick Sentence Surgery! Our teacher makes a sentence and we try to get the sentence to its normal form! I hope you get better with the surgery! Thanks for reading! – Lauren
Hi, my name is Alinah I love your operation games! I am a student at Stanislaus! I am in Mrs.Jeffery’s Class. Our class uses the operation game for our grammar and spelling so we can learn and have fun at the same time!
Prayers headed your way! Can’t wait to receive my autographed Operation especially to a great cause! God Bless! – AceLimo
Dear John, My siblings and I want to thank you for keeping us out of trouble . Back in the days when only TV was our only source of distraction Operation was and still is one of our favorite board games. I now share in the fun with my great nieces and nephews.
May god heal you and you become healthy again after your operation. Thank you for making my childhood better!!! Good luck! – Ashiya Brown
I ordered the autographed copy and made a donation too. I know we can get you the $$ you need for your surgery. Thanks for many years of fun. Get well soon John.
Dear John, Your invention provided my family MANY hours of fun and laughs. I’ve shared your story with different folks today and each one has a fond memory of playing Operation, the best of which are the individual reactions to the buzzer! We’ve purchased a game through your site for my nephews in hope of sharing the unique connection that Operation makes between the generations. We’ve also purchased another game to have at our home and plan to create many more fond memories with the sound of the startling buzzer. We’re rallying support for your surgery and send you love, light, healing and abundance. Have a beautiful day! – Nicole
Dear John, greetings from the gaming world! When I was a child in the late 80’s, early 90’s I loved playing board games. Operation was one of the games I loved to play. It was about skill, a steady hand, and patience. These kinds of games are one of the biggest reasons a lot of us gamers out there exist I think. I broadcast video games to the internet and will be streaming in honor of you to help raise awareness about the help you need, and that situations like yours are real and they do happen! It’s the least I/we can do to help give back for all the fun you’ve given us! I hope all goes well and you get the help you need. Thanks again for a great invention of our time. – Ian Doom
Hi John, I saw your story on the news last night and just wanted to do what I could to help. I am self employed and uninsured, so I know I could just as easily be in need of help, if faced with a large medical bill. I have great memories of playing Operation as a child, and thank you for your contribution that has been so much fun for millions of kids. Best wishes. – Gabe
One of my favorite toys when I was a kid I’m 47 years old now and still get excited when I see this game……out of all the Christmas presents i ever got this game was the only one that I won’t ever forget thanks john I hope you get the help and more Thankyou for making my childhood a wonderful and fun time playing operation!! Mooky!!
Dear John, I have to admit I never had the game growing up but I certainly knew of it! You’ll have to forgive my parents who opted for the practical gifts of socks and underwear. But I’m not bitter! In fact I made a HUGE 22×36-inch game to help us celebrates Nurse’s Week (May) this year. You see…I grew up to work in an operting room as an OR Nurse! I even decorated my office with several games found at thrift stores (and then some). So it with personal and professional consideration that I wish you all the best! I have even shared the link to your story on facebook and with my colleagues. Let’s see if that won’t help you get the care you deserve! All the best! – Christine
Dear John, I am an only child born in 1960 and spent countless hours playing alone with your game. Thank you very very much for all the entertainment. And BTW when the neighborhood kids came over, I was unbeatable. 😉 – Stacy Dunnett
Tearing open our Christmas presents one year in the 60s, my older sister Nancy received Operation. She was SO excited (and me, jealous) because we’d both seen it advertised while watching Saturday morning cartoons. The funny thing? As 6 or 7 year old it was A LOT harder than it looked! We had many good laughs while playing it and, now that I’m older and look back on that time, realize what a breakthrough concept it was for gaming. Though you didn’t know specifically what the outcome would be from your invention, John, the concept of a probe in a maze was going to be fun no matter what game was produced from it. Thank you. – Steve Borsch
Dear John, I loved playing your game and am happy to make a donation to you for your health care issue. I’m 57 and got the game for Christmas the first year it came out. I drove my family crazy playing that game and I think my Mom wanted to throw it away! I had and played that game for years and appreciate the work you put into the design. Thank you again! – Debra Dillon, So Cal
John, Thank You for years of fun and smiles! I grew up playing Operation and my kids loved it as much as I did! As an only child it was a game I could play alone, sharpening my skills in anticipation of playing with friends! Prayers and Good Energy on your surgery! Thank you for bringing smiles to millions of children! – Dee Zagin Castle
Hi I hope you get well. Fantastic game! Greetings from Belgium
Thank you for the years of fun, and all the memories. I vividly recall fun times playing the game with my siblings – – and then, years later, playing it with my own children! I smile thinking that two of my brothers actually went on to become doctors! : )
John, Thank you for creating an iconic part of my childhood. Like millions of other kids, I spent many hours playing Operation and enjoyed every minute of it. Best Wishes and Thanks! – Jim Fraley
Mr. Spinello, thank you so much for your amazing creation! Operation brought me many, many wonderful memories as a child. It’s an amazing gift that you gave the world. – Erik Arneson, Pennsylvania
Isn’t it amazing how many people’s lives you have touched….. I don’t know ANYONE who doesn’t have a good memory of this game… all because of you. Kudos to your friends who had the idea to get your news out there too! 🙂 Thanks. And.. good luck with your recovery… 🙂
Hi John, I played the original as a kid and I recently purchased a newer version for my own kids. I had a lot of fun playing operation as a youngster and for that I thank you. I hope my letter and my donation can put a smile on your face, just like you did mine (and still do!). Good luck 🙂 – Gus, Adelaide, Australia
John….I wish you the best. The success of this crowd fundraiser is a testimony to how many people have enjoyed the game that you invented. It was a favorite in our house. You deserve to have good things come your way for all the excitement and fun you brought into millions of homes including ours. Stay strong. We are behind you. – Susane, New York City
John, I wish you nothing but the best of luck with raising the funds and the healthy recovery from surgery. Thank you for sharing your creativity years ago with generations of kids and adults everywhere. In fact, we have 2 versions of Operation in our house (one was mine when I was a kid and one was bought for my own kids) and we love the game, even though we’ve lost a couple bones and rubber bands through the years! Again, thank you for being the one who started the fun and we wish you and your family all the best. – Kim & Family
I remember wanting this game more than anything when I was 8 years old. I remember unwrapping the box and immediately recognized it with the first tear, I was so excited. I loved it then and loved it when I had my own kids. Thank you!
Dear John, I always wanted your game when I was a kid. I got to play it on rainy days at school, but didn’t get to have my own until I was older. Now as an adult we have bought my nephew several versions of your game and absolutely love every chance we get to play it. Thank you for my favorite part of rainy days, and one of my favorite parts of being an aunt.
You’re a wonderful person!! This game is a classic for generations.
Hi John, I’ll be brief – I’m sure you are receiving a massive amount of messages right now (I just saw the story on NBC). Like many others, I grew up playing Operation. Absolutely loved it. My parents bought it for our family back in the early 80s – we still have the same game (though it is at my mother’s now). Fast forward to the present – my daughter received a copy several years ago for Christmas. Not only did she love it, but she’s much better at it than I ever was! I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve had good family fun with that game during my childhood and adulthood. I just sent some funds through the campaign. I know how horrible medical costs can be but I’m confident that it will hit the 25K mark. So my real wishes to you is that you have a speedy and quick recovery – we will certainly keep you in our prayers and thoughts. – Joel T. Terranova
Dear John: Thanks for Operation! I loved it so much as a kid, then loved it again when it came “pen” sized. I got my kids the Doctor Who version, and they love it too!
Dear John, Thank you for creating the game. I grew up loving it! Because of you, this is something that will last generation to generation! Something that will be part of every US family! You are a gift to families everywhere! Thank you! – Cat
Dear John, I remember obsessively playing Operation at the age of 5. In fact, it started my lifelong love affair with medicine and with helping patients. As a physician and ardent patient advocate, I am saddened that you struggle with access to quality care. I wish you a successful campaign and good health! – Dr. Nathalie Majorek, CEO MDCapsule
John, I loved your game as a child and as a adult… Best wishes I sure hope you get the money you need..love to you. – Ginger
Dear John, Tonight’s episode of the CW hit #The Flash included the characters playing #Operation. I tweeted the #CW w/a photo that included the game & the Flash w/comment “Let’s get the inventor of Operation an operation” Fingers crossed they’ll see it and donate :)Wishing you all the best! – @showcapricalove
It is Honor to Give Back I am Humbled and Thank You for My Child Hood memories , Baby Boomer – Christian
Thanks for a great lifetime of Operation. My sister and I played together 40 some years ago and my girls play it together now. In fact, there is a game somewhere in our playroom right now. I have to admit, the buzzer was a lot less annoying 40 years ago! Thanks for the memories. 🙂
Dear John, I hope your surgery goes well. I bought one of the games. I enjoyed it SO much as a kid…I played it with my kids…and now my daughter is a doctor! Thanks for YOUR invention, YOUR game. And best of health to you.
What a wonderful a wonderful gift you have given the world with this game. It has always been one of my favorites! Sending prayers up for you Sir. – K.M
Everybody I know has played Operation, myself included. It goes hand n hand with Checkers and Monopoly. It’s a part of life. Oh yea, that’s a game too. Lot’s of luck, I hope you enjoy the rest of your life to the fullest with family and friends . – Vicki Gillick
John, I know how expensive oral surgery can be. I am currently paying off my own oral surgery, but I can’t wait to receive my signed classic version of your game. I wish you only the best and thank you for the great times I had playing this when I was a kid. I will also turn 50 next year. 🙂
I got your game as a gift during a hospitalization when I was a child. It kept me company. Thank you! I ordered a signed copy 🙂
Thank you for creating a game that was played for many game nights in our home growing up!
Dear John, I am so happy I came across this article. I just purchased the anniversary operation game. Thank you for inventing a toy which has brought so much fun to my child hood. My children are in college but I will pass this on to them as a part of American History! Thank you so much! All the best to you and your family for many years to come! – Diana
Dear John, How lovely it is to hear your story, to meet the person who created this fantastic wonderful game. I loved playing, my kids loved playing it.. it’s brilliant, it’s sooo much fun trying to pick up the pieces without setting off the buzzer, it develops skill, hand and eye coordination, fine motor skills so not only is it FUN but it is also a fantastic educational tool and will be loved and enjoyed by many generations to come. I deeply feel for your situation, that the toy company ripped you off, .. it’s such a shame you didn’t have more life experience and wisdom at that time to not allow them to steal your clever idea/invention so easily. It’s NOT RIGHT, you should have earned millions of dollars in Royalties from that game. Anyway’s it was very moving to hear your story, you are a genius, verrrry clever .. and all kids just LOVE the game Operation. I am sending you a donation, I hope you raise enough to not only help you to afford your surgery but hopefully a lot more to help you live a more fullfilling lifestyle as you deserve. Best wishes! p.s. OOps I forgot to say a BIG THANKYOU for your creative idea, for making this game possible for all to enjoy…. – Di ( Newcastle, NSW Australia)
Dear John, I am 38 and still love to play Operation! My little one is 8 and loves the game, too. Thank you for the great contribution you have made to family games. Wishing you the best in health! – T & H, Dallas, TX
G’day John, We love your game over here in Australia. I still have my game from growing up but have recently bought the Minion version for my Minion obsessed son. Would love an autographed copy from you so have emailed to see if possible to have one shipped here. Have just donated some Aussie dollars for you I hope you raise what you need and more to get better. Cheers – Lisa Byrnes – Dubbo Australia
Do not worry your Father in heaven knows your needs. May God Bless you and may the owners of the game go ahead and open their pocket books to help assist you with your medical care.
Hi, John… I just saw the info on your needed surgery. I am 73 & my Hubby is 78. Just That You Came Up With this great Game And Now Need surgery Is Enough For Us To Help. If You Wind Up With More Money Than You Need…enjoy it! – Chuck & MaryAnna Smith
Dear John, I am 58 yrs. old and remember, vividly, playing Operation with my brother and friends! Perhaps that’s what lead me to become a Certified Oral Surgery Assistant and later a Registered Nurse!? Thanks for the fun! You will be in my prayers. I have no doubt that your surgery will be fully funded very soon. Thank you for the opportunity to show that we care. – Kerry Oceanside, CA
John, thank you for creating this wonderful campaign! I wish you well on your upcoming surgery. Hopefully you will reach your goal. I’m donating today!
Dear John, I wish you the best of luck on your surgery. My cousin had this game when I was a kid, and I wanted it so badly. When I was an adult, I finally received one from my husband. I was thrilled. I introduced it to my children, who always killed their patient, and eventually lost my bones. Whenever I’m in the game aisle, I look at Operation longingly. There is no doubt, it’s my very favorite game. Thank-you for your very clever invention. May your dentist be easier on you than most of us were on our ‘patient’. Blessings, – Chris
Thank you Sir for a wonderful fun game and wonderful memories. Prayers and thoughts to you for health. Telling all I know to spread the word. Here’s hoping the media gets involved.
Dear John, I loved playing Operation as a kid, it taught me where many of the bones etc in my body are. I always struggled to get the Adams Apple out. And every time I hit my funny bone I always think of Operation. Hoping you raise enough for the operation. – Kristina x
Hey I think its could be a good idea to develop an App for Iphone or Android with the concept of the game and sell it, that would be a great form to get the funds that John require, let see if any App developer help us!! – David Borloz, Costa Rica. Central America.
Dear John, My prayers are with you. I had oral surgery for tonsil cancer five years ago. Just the radiation alone was 5,000 out of pocket. Our medical system is insane. Even with insurance coverage. Hang in there. The best is yet to come. I played Operation and now my granddaughter Felicity plays the game. Two generations.
Dear John, ♥ I read the HuffPost article about your needed surgery RIGHT AFTER reading about the (censored adjective here) new owner of the basketball team who’s getting a $1 billion tax break on his $2 billion team purchase. Sick. All while you, and many others who actually give back to the world–specifically to CHILDREN, are having trouble paying to keep themselves and family healthy. 🙁 As a child of the pre- cable/ satellite/internet/cell phone ’70s (great decade!), games like yours were SO FUN to have. Many, many of us appreciate your creativity and invention and will do what we can to help. Thank thank you and WE GOT YOUR BACK! ♥ – Becky STL MO
“John, I think you are my great uncle. My mom’s uncle (Margaret (Davis) Eanos. I recently had major surgery and I realize how costly it can be. I am not a rich man but if I can I will try and scrounge up some money to donate. I’d like to give more that requested. I hope you get the surgery you need. Take care, – Darryl Eanos
“Dear John, You seem like a great guy and it really annoys me how unfair people get can treated – it seems designers, who have the skills to create new product, seem to be last on the list to get rewarded. As a new toy inventor, I hope to learn from your experience and not get trapped into selling off something for less than it’s worth. I’ll be donating and I hope you get better. Thanks.” – Adam
“Thank you for a great idea that gave me years of fun as a kid and now even more fun with my own children! Here’s to many…many more years to the fun of Operation!!!” – Reyna-Glaser Family
“Dear John, Thank you for inventing an incredibly fun game! You have no doubt brought tons of joy and laughter to children and families all over the world. The world is so lucky that you created this electrifying game! Best wishes,” – Joyce Johnson
“Dear John, We are so proud to have known you at Austin High School in Chicago, IL. All of our Grandchildren have played the game Operation and we have bragged that we actually know the man who invented the game. They all enjoyed your game very much. Thanks for helping make fun for many young and old kids.” – Mike and Nancy Pasquerelli
Dear John, Many, many thanks for all the hours of fun you gave us. Growing in Kenya in the 60s, played Operation with my siblings, one of whom went on to become a doctor. A little worrying given that he never won the game! With love from a huge fan and fellow game designer.” – Leslie Scott, Oxford UK
“Just contributed John! I have met your sweet supporters Peggy and Tim, but don’t KNOW them. How fabulous that those who love and admire you are stepping up to the plate to tangibly head this campaign to help. OPERATION was a very favorite game from my childhood and that of all 4 of my children! Inventors impact us and our lives and hope others will show their appreciation for your huge contribution! Sending prayers for full recovery!” – Randy in Atlanta
“Dear John, Read the latest and responding. Wish things were easier for you. Hope you are doing well. We sent out information to many who will respond after I heard from Tim and Peggy. Meanwhile, hang in there and take it easy. You created something special and unforgetable–its a game that keeps on giving. Take care.” – Stevanne Dr Toy
“Dear John, Thank you for bringing me some of my best moments as a kid, playing Operation with my brothers and sisters. What a hoot. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery from anything that ails you…I hope those doctors get word of your very special invention that probably inspired some of them to become doctors! I’m sure it’s one of the reasons I became a game inventor. Cheers to you,” – Colleen McCarthy-Evans
“John, I met you in line for Tim’s Toyland film a several years ago at the Sarasota Film Festival. I was honored to have met you. You are a fascinating part of American toy history, and you have touched millions of lives through your invention of OPERATION.” – Jim
“Hi papa it’s Jacob your grandson this is cool” – Jacob
“Thank YOU for creating such a fun game. I loved it as a kid and now my kids love it!” – Wade
All correspondence above is © www.iloveoperation.com. All rights reserved.