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A film about life with ME, the world's most prevalent orphan disease.
A film about life with ME, the world's most prevalent orphan disease.
2,593 backers pledged $212,962 to help bring this project to life.

Wall of Thanks

Posted by Jennifer Brea (Creator)

Dear backers,

This has been a long time coming, but we have finally done a redesign of the Canary website to include a "wall of thanks":

Are you a supporter and would like to add, remove, or alter your name? Go here:

Putting up this list was emotional in ways I did not expect. I thought we'd struggle to reach our initial $50,000 goal. I never imagined we would received support from 2,593 people!

I crashed so hard for months after the campaign, I was never able to really go back much less process what happened and what it truly meant. Even now, I can't read all of the names because of the difficulties I have with reading on screens and with scrolling, but this weekend, I was able to read a lot of names for the first time.

I was moved by all the familiar names – my family, my husband, Omar's family, old friends from high school, college, grad school (I think fully half the Harvard Department of Government donated!). TED Fellows and TEDsters, friends I met in Beijing, friends I met at Global Voices. People from every moment in my life that has mattered. Omar's old friends from Stuyvesant, Stanford, New York. I missed so many names in the hectic pace that was that campaign. I wish I could say, individually, to every single one of you, thank you. I am so deeply moved all over again.

Living with this disease has been this constant process of grieving for my old life, of saying goodbye to myself. Reading these names has helped me to feel connected and supported all over again. As morbid or elegiac as it sounds, I mean it joyfully and with gratitude – what a fierce and wonderful life I lived from birth to 28, and how many incredible people I have met along the way.

And then I started seeing names that I would never have recognized during the campaign. Names of patients and activists, caretakers, family and friends, of people that I would only come to know later.

And then I saw Walter Irvine – he and his wife, Chardale, gave. Chardale took her own life last year after many long years of battling this disease. I saw Vanessa Li, who fought so hard for herself and for all of us, before she also took her life last year.

I am angry for what we have lost. I am angry for the unnecessary pain caused by ignorance and prejudice. There are times I feel we face terrifying odds but then I remember we are not the first and we are not alone. We can take inspiration from the struggles and successes of other movements.

We fought against the invisible 

We looked to one another for comfort 

We held the hands of friends and lovers 

We did not turn our backs 

We embraced 

We embraced

– E. Ethelbert Miller, 2005

I am so grateful to this amazing list – for reminding me of just what we are fighting for and the amazing things that can happen when we all come together.

With love and gratitude,


Note: as of fall 2015, we are only using Kickstarter to send out updates about rewards and other campaign-related news. For news about the film, all backers have been added to the Mailchimp email list. For more, see our FAQ.

Julio B. Soler, Esther Siebert, and 23 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Esther Siebert on

      Thank you, Jennifer, for all of your efforts! I hope you are as well as possible!