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How Lauren McCullough used  a blog, a bucket list and her voice to campaign for
childhood cancer awareness, funding and research.
How Lauren McCullough used a blog, a bucket list and her voice to campaign for childhood cancer awareness, funding and research.
31 backers pledged $8,125 to help bring this project to life.

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The Not-Dying Girl Documentary

$8,125

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Lauren McCullough is 'the not-dying girl.'  

A few weeks after her high school graduation (2011), she was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma.  About 250 kids a year get this cancer (not a big market for pharmaceutical companies).   Lauren beat Ewing's initially.  

In 2013, it came back. 

Lauren's doctors told her no cure had been discovered to save her after ES came back. 

But she kept going. She started a blog called The Not-Dying Girl.  She created a bucket list of great adventures (including the wedding of her dreams) and tried to live them all. 

Egor Kireyev-Shupta and Lauren McCullough on Wedding Day - July 6, 2013
Egor Kireyev-Shupta and Lauren McCullough on Wedding Day - July 6, 2013

She became an advocate. 

Lauren pushed for more funding for childhood cancer so there could be more research and more lives saved. Lives of children who were not yet even diagnosed

I've interviewed people for decades on television and radio; my name is Beth Ruyak and I host a daily show on Capital Public Radio called Insight with Beth Ruyak.  Lauren was a guest in 2013 and oh my, she had that something. People listened to her and were moved by her.  Lauren's honesty, her humor and her absolute advocacy blew us all away.  

She left me feeling that I could and should do more. And so, five years later, here we are. 

Interviewing Dr. Kent Jolly MD at Kaiser Permanente, Roseville CA
Interviewing Dr. Kent Jolly MD at Kaiser Permanente, Roseville CA

We made a documentary that we think can be the calling card for a meeting with lawmakers or academics who can fund new research and find new treatments ...  maybe even a cure.  

We traced and captured Lauren's story from California to Hawaii. She sent us this rainbow at the end of our final shoot day, which happened to be the 5th anniversary of her wedding. 

Sunset Beach on July 6, 2018
Sunset Beach on July 6, 2018

This story is sad at times.   BUT SO INSPIRING! AND HOPEFUL!  (and you'll laugh, too!)     

My talented partners, Jim Eckes and Suzanne Eckes-Wahl of DosEckes Productions, joined me in days, weeks and months of puzzling the storyline, shaping the interviews .... working out the pictures, the music and the timing.  We loved every minute of it.

We are almost-almost-almost at the finish line, propelled by the generous donation of services from some true professionals in the industry and our own funding (thanks family!) 

We still have $2600 in production costs, $1850 in marketing expenses, $350 in television fees and $3200 in launch = $8000.   Can you help us get there by Valentine's Day? 

You'll be giving to the spirit of Lauren McCullough and her push to end childhood cancer. She is, and always will be, The Not-Dying Girl

Risks and challenges

Like Lauren, we will keep going forward, even if we have to find another way to fund to the finish line. We don't have an alternative route right now for those final expenses ... but we absolutely know that this documentary CAN KICKSTART CHANGE. And we will find a way!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The Not-Dying Girl 5" x 7" Print

    Your own 5"x7" copy of The Not-Dying Girl poster featuring Lauren McCullough's angelic smile and signed by the show's producers. Whether you frame it or stick it on the fridge with a magnet, this image will remind you to talk about childhood cancer and the need for funding and research. The Not-Dying Girl lives on!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Not-Dying Girl Flash Drive

    Lauren McCullough's documentary produced by Ruyak Media and DosEckes Productions will be loaded onto this 8GB 3.0 key-chain flash drive. You can watch the 27-minute program, download it, and move Lauren's message forward by sharing her story with others. The gold finish on this flash drive is the ribbon color for Childhood Cancer Awareness.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Not-Dying Girl 'Lauren' Necklace

    This stunning jewelry piece has been donated by the talented California artist, Caren Halvorsen (www.artgurl.com). Each 'Lauren' is 42" long, uniquely patterned with white and gold Keshi pearls on silver Beadalon and can be double-wrapped for a shorter variation. The center stone is a fancy-cut ametrine/trystine with citrine and light amethyst colors, varying in size and shape from 10 to 14 karats. Caren was inspired to create the 'Lauren' as a tribute to the legacy of The Not-Dying Girl.

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Funding period

- (20 days)