In My Blood a dy­ing wish

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

The award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary Kurt-E: In My Blood is to screen in Porirua to raise aware­ness in the Pa­cific com­mu­nity about bone mar­row donors.

Kurt Filiga died from leukemia in Septem­ber last year, less than 12 months af­ter he was first di­ag­nosed.

At the time he was study­ing film and tele­vi­sion at Vic­to­ria Uni­ver­sity, and de­cided to doc­u­ment his strug­gle on film, dur­ing which time his prog­no­sis be­came ter­mi­nal.

The sub­se­quent short film won the Show Me Shorts Film Fes­ti­val Spe­cial Jury Award 2010 in New Zealand and the The Ellen Mon­ague Award for Best Youth Work 2010 at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

It will screen in March’s Re­lay For Life expo, along­side Chris Gra­ham’s doc­u­men­tary chron­i­cling last year’s inaugural Porirua Re­lay For Life.

Kurt-E: In My Blood is be­ing brought to the expo by Spa­cific PR, which in De­cem­ber last year worked with the Filiga fam­ily, Park Road Pro­duc­tions, the Samoa Can­cer So­ci­ety, the New Zealand High Com­mis­sioner in Samoa and the Can­cer So­ci­ety to pre­miere the film at the Magik Cin­ema in Apia.

‘‘ Kurt passed at a young age be­cause the Pa­cific Is­land donor pool was limited, a world­wide num­ber of 1200, com­pared to nine mil­lion Euro­peans,’’ said Florence Fau­muinaAiono, from Spa­cific PR.

‘‘This is a fun­da­men­tal re­flec­tion of our Pa­cific cul­ture where do­nat­ing donor parts can be seen as a sa­cred taboo. This is well-re­spected. How­ever, there is also an is­sue of be­ing mis­in­formed and we hope the film will al­low our Pa­cific peo­ple to make a well-in­formed de­ci­sion.’’

Park Road Pro­duc­tions edi­tor Vicki O’Ha­gen met Mr Filiga in June 2010 and was moved by his de­ter­mi­na­tion.

‘‘It is a touch­ing, hon­est au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of a young man and his fam­ily, show­ing quiet de­ter­mi­na­tion and dig­nity in the face of despair.

‘‘It is won­der­ful to see Kurt’s dy­ing wish com­ing to fruition, to know that many Pa­cific Is­land peo­ple will get to see his film and hear his mes­sage in the hope that through his enor­mous ef­forts he might in­spire oth­ers to reg­is­ter as bone mar­row donors and even­tu­ally save lives.’’

The New Zealand bone mar­row donor registry will have a pres­ence at the Porirua pre­miere to an­swer any ques­tions and to give the op­por­tu­nity to the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter.

New Zealand Blood Ser­vice youth donor mar­ket­ing co-or­di­na­tor Jesse Lee Nankiv­ell said de­cid­ing to be­come a vol­un­teer bone mar­row donor can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death for some­one like Mr Filiga.

‘‘If you meet the cri­te­ria, please join the New Zealand bone mar­row donor registry. You could be the match that saves a life.’’

The Re­lay For Life Expo will run from 1pm till 4.30pm, Satur­day, March 5, at Te Rau­paraha Arena.

Last­ing legacy:

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