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Welcome to the Chasing Rainbows blog…

November 30, 2008

We’re glad you found us!

This blog began as an offshoot of a film project, a documentary produced by Pat Taylor on behalf of her daughter Sara Taylor Gibson, called Chasing Rainbows: Young Adults Living With Cancer. The film’s official site is here, and you can see an 8-minute trailer below. Since Chasing Rainbows was released in 2007, Pat has screened it all over the world, and in the course of this work has gotten involved in  many other exciting projects within the young adult cancer community. She continues to blog about her endeavours here (scroll down for the latest news!).

8-minute trailer for Chasing Rainbows: Young Adults Living With Cancer:

If you’d like to see the full length (43 minutes) film, you can order a copy of the DVD by contacting: pat@chasingrainbows.ca. You can also watch it online (in sections) at JimmyteensTV, where it is available in English, with Spanish subtitles, or dubbed into French.

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Chasing Rainbows…worldwide

November 26, 2008

The BC Cancer Foundation has made the Chasing Rainbows DVD available for sale online here, which – in theory – means that anyone with internet access, anywhere in the world, can get a copy. We were thrilled to receive a sales report in August that proves this is actually happening in practice! Here is the list of places from which the BC Cancer Foundation has received online orders for copies of Chasing Rainbows:

North Adelaide, South Australia
Vancouver, BC
Bonn, Germany
Burnaby, BC
Richmond, VA
Fresno, CA
Eugene, OR
Calgary, AB
St. Catharines, ON
Belleville, ON
Kingston, PA
Thunder Bay, ON
North Vancouver, BC
Bala, ON
Richmond, BC
Melbourne, Australia
Nanaimo, BC
Durham, NC
Mississauga, ON
Glen Ellen, CA
Deroche, BC
Kamloops, BC
Fredericton, NB
Washington, IN
West Montrose, ON
Toronto, ON
Sooke, BC
Moulton, AL
Winnipeg, MB
River Ridge, LA
Bowling Green, KY
Montreal, QC
Roseville, CA
Drumheller, AB
Rochester, NY
Victoria, BC
Gibsons, BC
Chapel Hill, NC
Kfar-saba, Israel

Pretty cool, no? (Huge thanks as usual to the BCCF for making this possible.)

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Photo Post: Cross-Canada Spring Tour 2008

October 31, 2008

Here at long last are some photos from our travels across Canada this past spring. You can see from the big smiles on Pat’s and Michael’s faces how much fun they had meeting everyone! Click on the photos to see bigger versions…

Apologies to those whose names we have temporarily misplaced. We hope you don’t mind being identified as “friend”, and please feel free to correct us in the comments so we can fix our captions.

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Cross-Canada Tour 2008: The Re-Cap

August 11, 2008

The Chasing Rainbows Cross Canada Tour 2008
Screening & Discussion Events
in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax
April 21 to May10, 2008

Wow! What an amazing experience! Our Chasing Rainbows Cross-Canada Tour was a huge success, thanks to the commitment and dedication shown by our hosts in each city, and by young adult cancer survivors who spoke at each of the presentations.

Personally, I am thrilled that the tour fulfilled three of my daughter Sara’s goals for the film:

1) To let young adults diagnosed with cancer know that they are not alone;

2) To spread the word that that the Chasing Rainbows DVD, produced to address the specific needs of young adults diagnosed with cancer, IS a useful resource and is available to them throughout British Columbia, across Canada (“…and the United States, and Mom, if you have time – Europe too.”); and

3) To encourage young adults with cancer to speak up for themselves, using the film as vehicle and framework for discussion and advocacy. “We are the experts!” said Sara.

Words cannot adequately express the pure joy and inspiration co-producer/performer Michael Booth Palmer and I felt, as we met and worked with the 13 young adults who spoke at the screenings. Some had never told their personal stories in front of a public audience before. All were confident, articulate and generous, and each offered a unique perspective on the issues that arise from diagnosis and continue throughout treatment and the ongoing physical, emotional and financial aftermath.

In-house promotion for all of the screenings was terrific – thanks to everyone who forwarded e-mails, put up posters, invited friends and colleagues and generally helped us get the word out! We also managed to get some media exposure: in Calgary and Winnipeg we were delighted to do live interviews on CTV, and local and university newspapers also covered us in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal (links to articles on our website: www.chasingrainbowsproduction.com). Finally, at CAPO (Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncologists)’s annual conference in Halifax, we shamelessly self promoted our screening and were pleased to have 30 attend…quite a good number for CAPO, I have been told. Overall, audiences varied in size at each venue, but the enthusiasm was consistent. One or one hundred and one…it was all worthwhile!

Observations:
In the course of the screenings and the discussions with young adults, other audience members and support people that accompanied each presentation, Michael and I made several observations (many of which, I’m sure, will be familiar to those who work on behalf of young adults with cancer across Canada).

Overall, it was clear to us that the concerns of young adults with cancer are the same across the country: isolation, infertility, sexuality, independence, finances, family and intimate relationships, physical and emotional scars, fear, faith, hope and the future. More specifically, the following issues and questions were brought up consistently:

o Being robbed of the years to “work up a resume” creates challenges for both young adult cancer survivors and childhood cancer young adult survivors. Questions of self disclosure were brought up, with respect to both personal and professional situations. When do you tell someone you have or had cancer? How do you deal with finding and/or holding a job while dealing with treatment and recovery? What happens if you face a change in your long term career choices due to on going treatment or physical or cognitive impairments?

o Young adults ages 18 to 35 expressed their desire to have the right or option to freeze eggs/sperm in case treatment led to fertility problems.

o Childhood cancer survivors highlighted the physical challenges that they face as they move into adulthood: their shorter stature and often young-sounding voices place them in a state of adolescent limbo.

o Earlier detection is needed: how can we educate our general practitioners/ family doctors and clinic doctors about young adult cancer symptoms and treatments?

o Financial and health insurance issues are of ongoing concern.

o Young mothers and fathers want childcare options at treatment centres.

o Young adults, their families, friends and medical teams need more resources to help them understand how to support those they love. All of the young adult speakers were grateful for the support groups that already exist. How do we get the word out more effectively that these groups are available? High schools, colleges, universities?

o Creating and maintaining support groups at Wellness Centres and Hospitals for young adults is an ongoing challenge. I cannot speak on the funding issues surrounding young adult support groups in the various cities, but I can say our hosts have done incredible work in addressing this concern and continue to come up with creative and innovative plans to provide the support that the young adults need now, and the long term care they will need in the future.

Michael and I were so pleased to note that Chasing Rainbows was equally well received by young adult cancer survivors and childhood cancer young adult survivors. Both groups felt the film highlighted most of their major concerns.

The Chasing Rainbows 2008 Cross-Canada Tour was made possible by the wonderful hosts who invited us to come to their Hospitals and/or Wellness Centres in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax (Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey and Kelowna, B.C. were hosts in Spring 2007), and who – in spite of their own incredibly busy work schedules – welcomed us warmly and facilitated all of our logistical, technical and emotional needs to make the screenings successful. These people are committed to raising awareness of the unique needs of young adults living with cancer, not only among young adult patients themselves but also among families, friends, the medical professionals who treat and support young adult cancer patients, and the general public. In order of the Tour dates, Michael and I thank you all…those front and centre and those behind the scenes…family, friends, young adults, and staff:

Calgary:
Wellspring Calgary: Patti Harris (host), Andrea Palmer (young adult speaker), Ian White (CTV reporter), Robyn Reed (CTV producer)

Winnipeg:
Cancer Care Manitoba: Megan McLeod (host), Jill Cannon and Karalee Grant (young adult speakers), Ashlyn Vandenberghe (CTV young adult interviewee), Young Adults Kick Cancer

Toronto:
Wellspring Toronto: Ayala Beck (host)
1) Odette House: Claire Edmonds (host), Grace Wright (young adult speaker)
2) Sunnybrook House: Dawn Wasylow (host), Grace Wright (young adult speaker)
3) Oakville, Halton Peel: Gabrielle Pitt (host), Audience guests (speakers)

Princess Margaret Hospital:
Norma D’Agostino (host), Lisa Kramer and Jessica Riesz (young adult speakers)

Gilda’s Club – STEP : Amy Plaint and Norma (hosts), Peter Mazereeuw (young adult speaker)

Ottawa:
Ottawa Hospital Care Centre: Linda Corsini (host), Serge Carriere, Laura Hinsperger and Mari Newman (young adult speakers), Connextions 18-35

Montreal:
The Jewish Hospital Hope and Cope Wellness Centre: Suzanne O’Brien (host), Kira Barrett (young adult speaker)

Halifax:
CAPO 2008 Conference: Shali Manuel (host)

Throughout the Tour:
Geoff Eaton and Lesley Kean at Young Adult Cancer Canada (RealTime Cancer) for contacts and support; Buff Allen for updating the Chasing Rainbows website.

We have more provinces to visit here in Canada, and next we are on to the United States. Please stay in touch via our web site and blog, and let us know how your own journeys are going!

Forever Chasing Rainbows,
Pat Taylor

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3 Down, 3 To Go…

May 4, 2008

So far, Pat and Michael have presented Chasing Rainbows in Calgary, Winnipeg (twice) and Toronto (five times!). Pat reports that the screenings have gone well – many thanks to the wonderful folks at Wellspring Calgary, the Manitoba Cancer Centre, Wellspring Toronto (various locations), Gilda’s Club and the Princess Margaret Hospital for all their help in organizing…to the young adults who spoke at each screening…and of course to the lovely people who attended. Pat and Michael have really enjoyed meeting you all!

Next up: Ottawa on Monday, Montreal on Tuesday and then it’s off to Halifax. Stay tuned…

— Melanie

(Chasing Rainbows publicist)

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Chasing Rainbows Tour Update – April 07/08

April 7, 2008

Wow! Our Chasing Rainbows Screening and Discussion Tour across Canada for Spring 2008 is coming together. We are now adding Halifax to our Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal dates. We’ll also be presenting the film at CAPO (Canadian Association Psychosocial Oncology)’s annual conference on Friday, May 9th at 2:30 PM at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Halifax.

I have been busy chatting with all the young adult speakers in each city that will be part of our screening presentations. Each person has a different story to tell. I hope we can collect and publish those stories into a young adults living with cancer anthology, one day.

Thanks to the hard work of our publicist, Melanie Thompson, we are beginning to get some feed back from the media we have been in contact with for the Tour. I am being interviewed on the Noon Show on CTV Calgary on April 22.

More to come soon, I am certain.

A side line: Michael Booth Palmer, our “Chasing Rainbows” co-producer and songwriter, held a video taping of his latest live concert and new band, the Fretbenders, at the St James Community Square last month. I hope to take the video copy of the “Chasing Rainbows” song and upload it onto Youtube when we get back from our Tour. I will keep you posted.

Be sure to say hi to Michael and me at our Screenings, so we know that this blog is getting “hit” on.

Keep “Chasing Rainbows” at www.chasingrainbowsproduction.com

Pat

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Chasing Rainbows is going on tour!

February 23, 2008

That’s right: we are taking the film on the road again. Last spring we launched Chasing Rainbows: Young Adults Living With Cancer with screenings at cancer agencies in Vancouver, Kelowna, Surrey and Victoria. Later that summer we also showed the film at Kelowna’s Relay for Life. After that, we felt like we had made a good start at getting the word out in BC. But Sara’s dream was to make the film available to young people across BC, Canada, the US and “if we have time, Mum,” Europe. Not to mention Asia, Australia, New Zealand…. So we’re working on it. One “market” at a time, as they say in the entertainment industry! This spring, we’re taking a stab at the rest of Canada. We’re so thrilled to announce that we have booked screenings in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Oakville and Ottawa in April and May.

Pat will be there to introduce the film and moderate the post-screening discussion/Q&A, which will also feature a performance by singer-songwriter (and Chasing Rainbows co-producer) Michael Booth Palmer. We also hope to have a local young adult cancer survivor join us at each screening to discuss his or her experiences and the resources available to young people in the area. Have a look at the dates below – if we’re coming to your area, we’d love it if you’d come and join us!

CHASING RAINBOWS SPRING TOUR 2008

Wellspring Calgary
Calgary
April 22, 2008 (time TBA)

CancerCare Manitoba
Winnipeg
April 23, 2008 Evening (time TBA)
April 25, 2008 12 Noon

Wellspring Odette House
Toronto
April 28, 2008 6-7:30 pm

Wellspring Sunnybrook
Toronto
April 29, 2008 2:30-4:00 pm

Wellspring Halton-Peel
Oakville
April 30, 2008 6-7:30 pm

Gilda’s Club (TBC)
Toronto
May 1, 2008

Princess Margaret Hospital
Toronto
May 2, 2008 (time TBA)

Ottawa Hospital Care Centre
Ottawa
May 5, 2008
Two screenings: 12 noon – 1 pm and5:00 – 7:00 pm

Coming soon: possible screenings in Halifax and New York City. Watch this space!

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Welcome to the Chasing Rainbows blog!

January 29, 2008

Welcome to our Chasing Rainbows Blog!

Blog Talk! Yikes! How does one Blog Talk? Well, I will take a cue from something my daughter Sara might have said, ” Mom! Don’t think, just do!”

I Do want to bring Awareness to the unique needs of young adults living with cancer.

I DO want to continue to make Sara’s dream come true. “Help make other young adults living with cancer feel less alone.”

I DO want to make the young adults living with cancer, the public and the health professionals and caregivers who care for them know that Sara’s documentary, “Chasing Rainbows – Young Adults Living With Cancer” is available as a resource. ( It’s like the “Coles Notes” for young adults living with cancer. Short, succinct and funny!)

I DO want to hear back from people visiting our website and Blog.

I DO want to keep you posted on where our next “Chasing Rainbows” Tour is going.

I DO want to keep you posted on how our plans are going for the Awareness For Young Adults With Cancer Concert I am producing for either September 2008 or the Spring of 2009.

I DO want to use all avenues of the modern day communications.

I DO want this Blog to help us meet all these goals.

I have read that Rainbows represent; “a bridge between the earthly self and the enlightened self, good news and hope” and that is why Sara and I are Still Chasing Rainbows. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Pat Taylor