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Mild-Mannered Man Transforms Into "Mr. T" to Support Diabetes Research

Series of photos show the transformation Chris Mischler has made, from a regular-looking guy to TV character Mr. T., to raise money for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.
Chris Mischler is on a mission to transform himself into "Mr. T" to support the Diabetes Research Institute.

Milwaukee, WI (November 2008) -- Until a couple of months ago, Chris Mischler, 29, was just a regular guy. Then, what innocently began as a diabetes fundraiser at his company, Fullhouse Interactive in Milwaukee, has the blond-haired, Nicolas Cage look-alike transforming himself into renowned bad-boy celebrity Mr. T, complete with a black Mohawk, multiple piercings on his ears, layers of chains and – soon to come – a tattoo.

The size of that tattoo, however, depends upon how much money Mischler raises. Since late September, Mischler has been challenging his co-workers, friends and family to raise money to support the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. As he’s reached certain fundraising targets, he’s gotten another step closer to becoming a full-blown Mr. T look-alike. Having raised almost $3,600 to date, he is up to Phase 5 in his nine-phase plan.* Should he reach his ultimate goal of $100,000, he will sport a full A-Team collage tattoo across his back. http://www.firstgiving.com/mrttattoo

Mischler, who lost his father to diabetes, never thought about getting a tattoo so it came as a shock to those who know him. “I was never really against tattoos, there was just never anything important enough to me to permanently brand my body with. Now, maybe I've found something.”

What came as a shock to Mischler is how his transformation into Mr. T has transformed his life as he knew it, particularly in the way people react to him. “I used to be almost invisible, now I’m far from it. I get looks from people, they try to avoid me, and they think I’m this tough guy when I’m really not that way at all,” explains the single web developer, who says it’s also had an effect on his ability to meet women.

“They certainly have a first impression of me and ask themselves can they really date a guy with this kind of hair,” Mischler says. Now he’s met someone online – who had a chance to see his "before" and "after" photos!

Another diabetes fundraiser is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 26 at the Fifth Ward Pub, 814 S. 2nd St. Starting at 5 p.m.. All donations to Chris Mischler's Mr. T challenge support the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

Chris Mischler’s 9-Phase Plan of Transformation

• Phase 1: $100 Grew a beard
• Phase 2: $200 Dyed my (blond) hair black
• Phase 3: $300 Shaved the Mr. T mohawk
• Phase 4: $500 Got an ear piercing, and an additional piercing for every $50 (up to 6)
• Phase 5: $2,500 First-level of the tattoo challenge: small "I Pity The Fool!" arm tattoo
• Phase 6: $7,500 by Nov 23, 2008 A portrait of Mr. T above the text "I Pity The Fool!"
• Phase 7: $20,000 The size of the tattoo doubles, to take up most of my upper arm
• Phase 8: $50,000 An A-Team collage 'quarter-sleeve' tattoo
• Phase 9: $100,000 A full A-Team collage tattoo on my back

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Contact:
Lori Weintraub, APR
lweintraub@drif.org
954.964.4040

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Media Contacts:

Lauren Schreier
Sr. Director, Marketing & Comm
954.964.4040

Lori Weintraub, APR
Senior VP, Marketing & Comm
954.964.4040

Mitra Zehtab, MD, MBA
COO 
305.243.9537


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