'More To Live For' A documentary to save lives

Synopsis from More To Live For

MORE TO LIVE FOR tells the story of three people, all shaken by cancer and dependent upon the one vital bone marrow match that could save their lives.These men are similar both in their fate, and their extraordinary personal achievements: MICHAEL BRECKER, 15-time Grammy winner, one of the greatest tenor saxophonists of all time; JAMES CHIPPENDALE, entertainment executive and founder of The Love Hope Strength Foundation, the largest music-centric cancer charity in the world; and SEUN ADEBIYI, a young law student training to become the first Nigerian Winter Olympic athlete in any sport.

Their unrelated paths become connected in a desperate fight for survival and a singular mission: to bring awareness about bone marrow donation to the millions of people who could save a life, literally, today.

People have a misconception that any time they donate a part of themselves it involves extreme invasive measures; but with present medical breakthroughs, it’s the easiest of procedures. In a simple yet passionate manner, the documentary reveals how easy it is to get tested for and donate stem calls for a needy cancer patient. The testing takes a few minutes, and the actual donation, only a few hours.

A film of tragedy and loss, strength and hope, MORE TO LIVE FOR presents three individuals facing life and death, and their commitment to making a difference in the world. These deeply personal accounts of confronting illness will inspire hope and action, leaving the viewer empowered to become part of the cure.

Documentaries are suppose to do several things for the viewer; Peak curiosity, satisfy curiosity, make the viewer care about the subject, educate and in the best of cases…change minds. Most docs accomplish a few of these but it is the rare film that accomplishes them all. ‘More To Live For’ manages to fulfill the viewer with all of these feelings and more.

The stories of each man told in this film is heartbreaking and real. The camera doesn’t turn away, we take part in their journey. Each were already accomplished in their field. However, the diagnosis of cancer is a punch right in the stomach that could take one down for the count. But not the three men in this doc. While it’s true that Michael Brecker, ultra talented Jazz musician, did lose his battle but he went down fighting. ‘More To Live For’ shows Michael in rehearsal and recording his music, living life his way.

James Chippendale was a powerhouse of energy until cancer struck his life. Only the strongest individual could keep up with James. The disease threatened a painful ending to this extraordinary man.

And finally, Seun Adebiyi, a young man from Nigeria who was attending Yale Law School and training to be the first person from his country to ever take part in the Winter Olympics. This strapping young man is the last person one would associate with cancer. He’s big and strong with huge goals to be accomplished. But cancer did come into his life and it did stop him from participating in his everyday activities.

These are but three people stricken by cancer, in need of a bone marrow transplant to save their lives.

Each person who needs such a transplant is put into a database. As in donating any part of one’s body…the donor and the recipient must be a match medically.

People who are willing to donate are put into a database. When a match is found for a person in need, the best outcome is a transplant that takes, saving the recipient’s life. This isn’t always the ending, as with Michael Brecker. Will it be a happy ending for James and Seun?

Being tested and donating bone marrow.

The process of testing and donating bone marrow use to be an invasive, unpleasant procedure. As with many medical procedures, this has changed. Being tested consists of medical personnel swabbing inside your mouth. The donation itself is done in a hospital setting, is fairly painless and requires very little recovery time. This is a small price to pay for actually saving a life.

I recommend this documentary to anyone who is facing a challenge, has faced a challenge or may in the future. That pretty much covers everyone.

‘More To Live For’ is making the festival circuit. If you attended a screening think about having a swab done, each screening will have personnel there qualified to do swaps.

Additional information about ‘More To Live For’.

2011 Sedona International Film Festival
2011 Cleveland International Film Festival
2011 Dallas International Film Festival
Special Selection: Aspen Songwriters Festival

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