I just read a story in our local newspaper about an important film that will be coming out sometime in 2014.
That story, in short, is this: Annie Parker lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 13. Both her sister and a first cousin died of the disease before 40. She was diagnosed at age 29 with the disease, opting for a radical mastectomy. At 38, the sharp-witted, irrepressible Toronto-area mother was told she had third-stage ovarian cancer. Again, she beat the terrible odds.
As if that weren’t enough, in 2006 Parker’s oncologist told her she had a tumor behind her liver. Again, she survived.
Interwoven into Annie Parker’s remarkable story is the discovery by geneticist Mary-Claire King (played by Helen Hunt) of the breast cancer genes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 responsible for 5-10% of breast cancers. Her discovery has been heralded as one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the century.
I watched the trailer and look forward to seeing the film with an amount of hesitation. Being a breast cancer survivor and my mom also, it will be emotional to watch this film. Luckily, I have had the genetic test done and they did not find this mutated gene in me. Whew.
But the filmmaker says this is not so much about the story of one woman’s life. “The film is more about what sustains people in times of crisis than anything else. I was trying to address a greater truth about the nature of the human condition that allows people to survive.”
What’s also interesting about this film is it was written by a local Vancouver doctor, Dr. Michael Moss, the provincial medical director for LifeLabs, a local blood testing lab.
What a great and important project for all involved. I look forward to it.