Thank you so much for all the support you have shown this project already. I just wanted to post an update about our progress. Last week I spent an amazing 2 days in Toronto shooting with Amy and her family. The interviews with Amy and her family were incredibly powerful and candid. I quickly threw together a little 2 minute clip of our time there to give you guys an idea of what it was like. - Mike Lang (April 5th)
"The only victory that is gained through cancer is a new perspective; the only defeat is giving into bitterness." - Mike Lang
Over the past four years since being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, Mike Lang has dedicated his life to helping other cancer survivors live with, through and beyond cancer. Early on, Mike recognized the power of sharing stories to help cancer survivors find healing. Thanks to close friends Aaron Bryant and Fred Sprinkle of Hands On Films, Mike found the perfect opportunity to combine his passion for storytelling with the creative and compelling medium of film. Out of this great partnership and passion for storytelling has arisen two films, an adventure therapy program (Survive & Thrive Expeditions), as well as opportunities for Mike to plan and facilitate over 25 retreats, conferences, activity-based support groups and adventure therapy trips for young adult cancer survivors (to learn more about the two previous films please read below).
With this new webseries, Mike and Aaron want to narrow their focus on one person's story. Amy Mcdougall-Aubin, was only 24 when she was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. She was pregnant at the time and not able to undergo the traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments and instead had to try some complementary treatments. After spending a few years in remission, the cancer metastasized to her right lung and she was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. She is currently undergoing a very difficult round of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Amy is married with a 4 year old daughter and, with her family's permission, is allowing Mike to follow her journey as she finishes chemotherapy treatments in Toronto, gets prepared for, and finally rafts the Grand Canyon with Survive & Thrive Expeditions in August 2012.
The webseries will include candid and compelling discussions between Mike and Amy on the subject of cancer and juxtapose the drab, sterile environment of the hospital with the majesty and grander of the Grand Canyon. This great story will provide the backdrop for Mike and Amy to explore together the deeper issues around cancer "survivorship" and the impact that cancer can have on someone's life and the people around them. The open and honest discussion of these issues will help the hundreds of thousands of cancer survivors know that they are not alone in their struggles. The ultimate goal of this webseries is to inspire and bring people to the realization that, in Mike's own words, "The only victory that is gained through cancer is a new perspective; the only defeat is giving into bitterness."
The webseries will be posted on YouTube and be promoted by the many cancer support organizations and networks that Mike has developed relationships with over the past few years. There is no doubt that this film will impact people in a significant way, just like the last 2 films, but it cannot be done without your help. Any and every donation is GREATLY appreciated. Please help Mike and Amy encourage cancer survivors all over the world to not only survive the difficult cancer journey, but thrive despite of it.
A huge thank you for your help.
ps The way Kickstarter works, if we don't raise 100% of the money by the time indicated no one's credit card will be charged and the project will not happen... so tell your friends!
pss If you plan on showing this to people in a setting where you will not have good internet access you might want to choose a reward level with a DVD copy. We will not be printing any extra DVD's other then those from Kickstarter. (Limited Edition!! ;)
Grand Canyon photo by Ignacio Izquierdo (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
ABOUT THE OTHER FILMS
Mike's first film, a feature length documentary called Wrong Way to Hope: An Inspiring Story of Young Adults and Cancer, was personally screened by Mike and his wife Bonnie 52 times in 2011. This included a cross-Canada tour where the film was shown in 14 different cancer centres to over 1400 cancer care professionals. This film is currently being used in university nursing courses across the country as well as at many hospitals for training purposes and for patients themselves. To watch the trailer and learn more about this film visit: www.wrongwaytohope.com
Mike's second film, a short film called Ebb & Flow: Storytelling for Cancer Survivors, evolved out of Mike's recognition that many cancer survivors do not realize that they have a story to tell or know where to start when telling their story. Using the five phase story structure, the film encourages survivors to view their lives as epic stories; stories that need to be told to others so that the wisdom gained from their journey will not be lost. This film has been used in over 22 special presentations and has given rise to many upcoming speaking and workshop invitations for Mike and Bonnie. To watch the entire short film visit: www.ebbflowstory.com
ABOUT THE TEAM
Mike Lang - Producer/Co-Director
Mike is 28 years old and currently works for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta as the CancerBridges Provincial Survivor Network Coordintor. CancerBridges is a team of researchers and clinicians dedicated to researching and delivering evidence-based survivorship care. In this role Mike plans and facilitates educational events for cancer survivors, creates and manages the content for CancerBridges.ca and directly transfers knowledge from clinicians and researchers to the survivors who need to hear it most. Mike is on a number of committees and research teams as the young adult cancer representative and has 3 years experience designing programs specifically for young adults. He is also spends a lot of time public speaking and guest lecturing at local Calgary educational institutions and cancer events all over North America. In September 2012, Mike will be attending the University of Calgary and starting his MSc. in Health Services Research. His focus will be on designing and evaluating supportive services for young adult cancer survivors.
Aaron Bryant - Co-Director/Editor/1st Camera (Grand Canyon)
Aaron is a proud father of 4 and has worked with YD Adventures in Washington State, USA since June, 2000 spending 7 yrs as a wilderness adventure guide and Trip Coordinator. He now oversees the training of YD's technical staff from the 3 YD Adventure bases in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. As well, Aaron tells the stories of YD through video and in 2006 founded an independent film company called Hands On Films. In addition to excellent post-production and editing skills, Aaron is a gifted storyteller and over the past 4 years has made an incredible impact in the young adult cancer community through the two films he and Mike have created. He is very excited to be embarking on yet another journey with another inspiring group of young adult cancer survivors and telling Amy's story.
Eamonn O'Connell - 1st Camera (Toronto)
Graduating from the University of Guelph with a degree in Biological Science and Psychology, Eamonn went on to study Marketing and Media Relations at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Having experience in managing communications and relations with various health organizations like the Canadian Red Cross and the Campaign to Control Cancer, Eamonn joined Patient Commando in 2011 as the Director of Communications. Eamonn is an avid and emerging filmmaker from Toronto, who has been involved in several projects including the soon to be released, self-shot documentary "Solo", detailing his time spent in North Africa during the 2011 Arab Spring. In the Fall of 2011 Eamonn received two Peter Gerretsen Film Award Nominations for Best Picture and Best Editing.
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