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Pokémon Fans React To Original Actor's Tragic Story

If you understand anything about "Pokémon," you know that the franchise wouldn't be what it is today without the TV show and the voice actors who brought it to life in the 1990s. The "Pokémon" video games get the lion's share of the attention these days, but when the series arrived in North America, the main human trio, Ash (originally voiced in English by Veronica Taylor), Misty (Rachael Lillis), and Brock (Eric Stuart) were as endearing to fans as the Pokémon themselves. Lillis and Stuart were particularly important to the show's success in the States, because they also voiced the iconic Team Rocket duo of Jessie and James.

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It's been over 30 years since the cast of "Pokémon" first beamed into our living rooms, but fans still haven't forgotten how much those characters mean to them. Aafter all this time, fans are showing their love in a way that is making a genuine difference. Rachael Lillis' sister recently set up a GoFundMe because the voice actor has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Lillis, who has also voiced characters in the English dubs of "Berserk" and "Hunter x Hunter," is having great difficulty covering the cost of her treatment and care. The cancer has spread to Lillis' spine, making it extremely difficult for her to walk, and her family came to fans looking for $20,000 to help her out. In just two days, fans have given double that amount.

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Comfort from the Pokémon community

As tragic as Lillis' diagnosis is, the outpouring of love from fans all over the world is truly heartwarming. The comments on the GoFundMe page really say it all: "Thank you again for making my childhood so great and this is my way of showing how much that meant to me," says one fan. Another adds, "Rachael, you have touched the lives of people all over the world and have been a source of comfort and laughter since early childhood to our now adulthood." One touching comment reads, "The Pokémon show defined my childhood. Those characters were there for me in so many ways. Your performances, especially as Misty, truly made my life better." The comments go on and on, and elsewhere online, one of Lillis' former co-stars is also calling attention to her situation.

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The donations coming in range from people giving five bucks because it's all they can afford to people dropping over $1,000 to help pay for Lillis' care. While some fans have noted that it seems unfair that someone so integral to the success of a franchise like "Pokémon" needs to rely on GoFundMe for care, the community has Lillis' back. All those kind comments offer a kind of support that goes beyond the money, but the donations (big and small) have already added up to just under $47,000 at the time of this writing.

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