Posts Tagged ‘Alabama Public Television’

The Truth About Cancer

17 Apr 2008 by under News, People

About 5 minutes into Linda Garmon’s documentary about cancer, titled The Truth About Cancer, which aired last night on PBS on , I started crying. I was a mess through most of it. Garmon films her husband, Larry D’Onofrio, who is diagnosed with mesothelioma, and records his journey. Within two years, he has died.

About six years after his death, Garmon revisits some of the cancer centers where Larry was treated, and talks to doctors, patients and family members of those suffering from a variety of cancers – pancreatic, lung, breast, prostate.

The documentary explores the complicated maze of cancer treatment, which is so widely varied partly due to the many variations cancer takes within the human body as it mutates genes. It also looks at how cancer affects people’s relationships, with the person battling cancer oftentimes also feeling the pressure to “beat it,” to “win” over cancer, a feeling of pressure that it’s somehow up to them to get well.

Garmon touches on the issue – why are people still dying of cancer? She shows news footage of President Richard Nixon declaring war on cancer. And here we are still fighting.

Larry D’Onofrio built his family’s home, and worked on other construction projects. It is suspected he contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure in that work. Garmon wonders, “why him?” when others who worked alongside him are healthy today.

I write about mesothelioma every day because it’s my job. But I’m touched by the people I meet who share their stories. I’m amazed by the patients who agree to even when they understand that there probably won’t be a miracle cure for them, but because they understand that by doing so they might help someone after them.

And I’m touched by the people affected by mesothelioma who work for awareness. To reach out from their place of pain to try to bring the issue to light – that’s strength almost unimaginable. Thank you, Linda, for having the strength to share your story, the story of you and Larry and the hardest battle you ever had to fight.

PBS will air the documentary several more times in the coming weeks. If you missed it last night, I urge you to check your local listings and make a point to see it. It’s powerful, and it’s a message more people need to hear.


PBS film about meso, cancer airs

16 Apr 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

As part of its “Take One Step” health campaign, PBS will air a documentary titled “The Truth About Cancer” tonight (Wednesday, April 16, 2008). Award-winning filmmaker Linda Garmon shares the story of her husband’s battle with and from mesothelioma.

During the program, which strives to answer the question “Why does anyone still die of cancer?”, Garmon visits the facilities where her husband was treated, and interviews people who are undergoing treatment for various types of cancer, and interviews doctors and researchers working for a cure.

PBS describes the film as, “Part science, part personal catharsis, part character-driven storytelling, this powerful documentary uncovers the truth about cancer and tell us where we stand in fighting the battle against the disease.

The program is slated to air in most markets at 9 p.m. ET. In Montgomery, Alabama, where I am based, the show is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT on WAIQ, Alabama Public Television (APT).

Following the film, journalist and breast cancer survivor Linda Ellerbee will host a 30-minute follow-up panel discussion covering topics including the importance of early screening, what to expect if a loved one is diagnosed, and how to live with cancer.

Please check your local listings for this very important program! It is critical to realize that cancer is an issue of national importance in public health, and that much more needs to be done to enhance funding and for all types of cancer.

Find more information about this program at the official PBS site for the film.