Memorial Sloan Kettering Tells Powerful, Nuanced Stories About Cancer Patients in Moving Films

Documentary Maker David Gelb Captures the Stories of Lives Saved

Published On
Jul 01, 2015

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New York cancer hospital Memorial Sloan Kettering has captured the stories of cancer patients and their care in a series of powerful documentary-style films hosted on the hospital's website.

Created by Pereria & O'Dell and directed by documentary maker David Gelb ("Jiro Dreams of Sushi") of Nonfiction Unlimited, the "Science Save Lives" themed-films dig a little deeper than usual into the stories of patients, their families and the teams that care for them. The result is a series of sensitive portraits of people that are about much more than their disease and treatment, showing how MSK makes a difference in individual people's lives.

The campaign includes the story of Suzanne, who was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer but also wanted a baby -- and to keep her hair before her wedding. There's also one about Danny, a firefighher suffering from colon cancer caused by a hereditary condition and of Valerie, a teacher who was devastated to be told she needed a mastectomy.

The films follow a campaign that broke last fall that set out to address the fears around cancer. Avice Meehan, SVP and chief communications pfficer at MSK said in a statement: "Our mission for more than a century has been to treat cancer and to help our patients live the best lives they can, but just as important is giving people a new way to think and talk about cancer. We started to frame that language in the original work last fall, and now we are bringing in the human impact by celebrating the stories of the people we serve."