When people learn that I work in media and film, they are often intrigued. I am an independent filmmaker, videographer, photographer, and the media coordinator for Rhea Lana’s. I love being able to use my gifts in a number of ways, including documentary film.
My current work is a film about metastatic breast cancer. It is a heavy topic, but one I am very passionate about and I invite you to follow along.
Metastatic breast cancer is also known as stage IV breast cancer. It is metastatic because the breast cancer has spread, or metastasized to other parts of the body, with the common areas being the bones, liver, lungs and brain. It is a terminal disease. One in three women who have early-stage breast cancer will progress to Stage IV. The median life expectancy is 3 years and 116 people are dying every day from this disease, in the United States alone. People with metastatic breast cancer will be on treatment forever, the rest of their lives. It is the only stage of breast cancer that kills.
Breast Cancer Stories
Through our film journey, we have met hundreds of people living with metastatic breast cancer and have interviewed over 60 people. And have now watched many of them die. My film follows the lives of two women who live in Northwest Arkansas. These women started a fundraiser that raises money for an organization that gives 100% to research for metastatic breast cancer, a disease that typically only sees less than 6% of funding currently. The two women in my film are amazing, one being a mom just like so many of us.
Motherhood is an intrinsic part of the Rhea Lana’s family. We are committed to serving, helping and partnering with women, moms, and families. So, as a mom, as a part of the Rhea Lana’s family, following the life of a fellow mom in our community is incredibly impactful. One day, this mom I’m filming, Lisa, will die and leave her family, her two kids, and husband. And that is not ok. Lisa is an advocate for metastatic breast cancer, helping to educate others and raise money for research that is needed.
Go Pink in October
October is breast cancer awareness month and our lives are inundated with the color pink. And sometimes it becomes more about the pink ribbon and a marketing tool rather than an actual push for awareness and support. So, I’m asking you to consider thinking about being More Than Pink, more than just pink ribbons, and following the status quo. To look carefully at where you are giving and consider supporting the stage of breast cancer that kills.
My film is called So Much More because these women (and even men) living with metastatic breast cancer deserve so much more. So much more time, more options, more life, more treatment, more research, more understanding. Just more.
This Saturday on October 24, the fundraiser highlighted in my film will have their 5th annual gala (virtually) to raise money for metastatic breast cancer. You can check out their event and attend by visiting: https://www.nwamets.org/
I also invite you to give to the following organizations that are making huge strides for metastatic breast cancer:
Breast Cancer Research Foundation: https://www.bcrf.org/
Metastatic Breast Cancer Network: http://mbcn.org/
You can also follow our film journey here:
By Danielle Keller