Doc­u­men­tary will be on­line too

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - FRONT PAGE -

But that didn’t stop her from want­ing to spread in­for­ma­tion and aware­ness of Ewing’s Sar­coma. “The foun­da­tion set up an in­for­ma­tion booth at a ma­jor con­fer­ence for pri­mary care­givers sev­eral years in a row,” Hodge told the Aurora.

A quest to get the word out led the foun­da­tion to brain­storm, and then the idea of a doc­u­men­tary fell into place in a most unique way. A search for a pro­duc­tion com­pany to take on a doc­u­men­tary, with lim­ited re­sources, didn’t pan out but in 2016 Hodge met with a young film­maker by the name of Justin Tobin who was keen to do the project. The young man was also bat­tling with Ewing’s sar­coma. How­ever, be­fore long his fight with the dis­ease meant he was no longer able to take on the project, and even­tu­ally he be­came one of the main sub­jects in the doc­u­men­tary.

It was back to the draw­ing board for the foun­da­tion, so Hodge held a brain­storm­ing ses­sion with two local pho­tog­ra­phers and video mak­ers, Brad Dil­lon (her son-in-law) and Josh Bin­gle. Bin­gle had worked on pre­vi­ous doc­u­men­tary projects and was friends with an ex­pe­ri­enced videog­ra­pher and film­maker, Danny Bai­ley of Kitch­ener On­tario. Be­fore long, a part­ner­ship with the Ewing’s Can­cer Foun­da­tion of Canada was formed, and Cre­ative Fo­cus started the task of pro­duc­ing the doc­u­men­tary.

Dil­lon of Labrador City, told the Aurora: “At first I was ner­vous, hav­ing to speak with peo­ple who had the dis­ease, some know­ing they were ter­mi­nal, and hav­ing to speak with fam­i­lies that lost chil­dren, I wasn’t sure how I would re­act.”

“Meet­ing Justin Tobin, how­ever, was a turn­ing point,” says Dil­lon, “his en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm set the bar for the rest of the project.”

Tobin and the other par­tic­i­pants amazed Dil­lon with their friendly, open and frank dis­cus­sions about their ex­pe­ri­ences.

“It put me at ease for the rest of the doc­u­men­tary mak­ing process,” he told the Aurora.

For Bin­gle, the ex­pe­ri­ence of mak­ing the doc­u­men­tary left him hum­bled.

“I al­most felt guilty for be­ing healthy,” he told the Aurora. “To see these peo­ple em­brace life and their ea­ger­ness to share their ex­pe­ri­ences was an eye opener. Again, Justin Tobin was amaz­ing; he gave it 110 per cent, know­ing it would prob­a­bly drain ev­ery bit of en­ergy out of him.”

It did, he was in bed for three days af­ter, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Bin­gle hopes the doc­u­men­tary will make a dif­fer­ence for many peo­ple.

“They will learn that early diagnosis is of ut­most im­por­tance, that a lot more has been learned about this dis­ease and that progress is be­ing made, but there’s still a lot more re­search that needs to be done.”

The team criss-crossed the coun­try from St. John’s to Van­cou­ver, in­ter­view­ing doc­tors, re­searchers, fam­i­lies, peo­ple with Ewing’s.

The re­sult is a doc­u­men­tary ti­tled “Make it stop,” about Ewing’s sar­coma.

For Gail Hodge and the Ewing’s Can­cer Foun­da­tion of Canada the re­lease of this doc­u­men­tary is a big mo­ment.

Hodge told the Aurora “the doc­u­men­tary will be avail­able to health pro­fes­sion­als, and to any­one who deals with chil­dren. Teach­ers, sports coaches and oth­ers all need to know what to look for. It will also be avail­able on­line,” she told the Aurora.

The Labrador West screen­ing will be Sept. 7 at the Labrador West Arts and Cul­ture Cen­ter at 8 p.m. Ev­ery­body is in­vited and there is no ad­mis­sion.

Other screen­ings will be held in St. Johns at the rooms Sept. 17;Rich­mond Hill, On­tario Sept. 23.; and Fall River, Nova Sco­tia Sept. 23.

“It’s ex­cit­ing,” Hodge told the Aurora, and she’s al­ready had to book a sec­ond screen­ing in St. John’s.

“Peo­ple are in­ter­ested, I’ve heard from the med­i­cal school in St. John’s, many of the med stu­dents are very in­ter­ested.”

With this doc­u­men­tary Hodge hopes her ex­pe­ri­ence of the lack of in­for­ma­tion and the lit­tle known facts of the dis­ease, when her son was di­ag­nosed in 2009, are days long gone.

“It’s a ma­jor step for­ward for the Ewing’s Can­cer Foun­da­tion of Canada and for work­ing to­ward the erad­i­ca­tion of this dis­ease,” she says.

SUB­MIT­TED

Josh Bin­gle be­hind the cam­era, far left, Danny Bai­ley in­ter­view­ing, mid­dle, as Dana Wood be­ing in­ter­viewed, right, in the Man­i­toba Hy­dro Build­ing, Win­nipeg.

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