By the time Patricia Crone was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2011 it had already spread to her brain, and her options were grim.
Patricia looked for alternative treatments and discovered that the National Cancer Institute describes marijuana as having anti-metastatic and tumor-shrinking qualities. With nothing to lose, she was eager to try the drug.
Patricia, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton who had never in her life tried any drugs, began a hunt for marijuana and credible evidence of its medicinal potential. Risking jail, she managed to acquire enough marijuana to start experimenting on herself.
I'm Diana C. Frank, a filmmaker and journalist who has worked for ABC, NBC and PBS, and the documentary I made of Patricia's quest for a cure is deeply personal for me.
Patricia is my sister.
I followed her from her visits with cannabis experts at university labs, to a pot grower in Oregon, and through tense moments as she awaited the results of her brain scans. Her odyssey offers hope to others fighting this deadly form of cancer and calls out for a change in federal laws that have stalled potentially life-saving research.
When I launched this Kickstarter campaign on Dec. 8th my wish was to raise enough money to finish the film so my sister can see it completed. We've both been overwhelmed by the generosity and the kindness of family, friends, colleagues and strangers who took us past our $25,000 goal in just 72 hours.
I can now hire editors to complete the audio work, make edit adjustments and color correction. I now also have the funding to make duplicates and package the film so it can be submitted to film festivals.
We reached the $29,000 level just one week in, which means the film will have better graphics and I can complete it in multiple formats, a necessity in the digital age.
Every dollar we raise from this point on will only strengthen this film and increase its audience size, so we continue to press forward.
The next and final very large goal -- so large that I didn't dare include it in the original Kickstarter budget -- is to raise an additional $32,000 for the publicity and marketing to eventually have the documentary shown on a PBS station or to a similar very large audience.
Twenty-three states allow medical marijuana, and of those, four states and the District of Columbia have voted to legalize marijuana. That is great progress, but federal laws supersede state laws and they still stand in the way of developing marijuana's full potential as a scientifically tested disease fighter. It is a terrible waste, and it is cruel to patients who need it.
Thank you for your generous pledge which will allow me to complete my film, shed light on this important issue, and fulfill my promise to my sister.
As Patricia and I say in Danish: Mange tak for hjælpen.
Diana C. Frank
Risks and challenges
I've completed the rough cut of my documentary, so with funding there is no chance it won't be completed. With many years of experience as a filmmaker I'm looking forward to assembling an outstanding team of editors to complete the film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)