HOUSTON, TX – Everyone knows someone with cancer.
“I was given 6 months to live. Next year will be 10 years I’m cancer-free” says filmmaker Geraldine Moriba. She’s been visiting M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for nearly a decade. Last year she was introduced to James Ragan, a student-athlete at Rice University who’s also a patient. “The cancer we both have is called sarcoma. There are over 75 kinds of sarcoma. My tumor was in my right arm. James was in his right leg” explains Moriba.
Doctors know little about sarcoma other than it kills 80% of those diagnosed and only 20% live more than 5 years. “I don’t understand. I survived and I’m doing okay and he’s had such a hard battle. It’s incredibly unfair” says Moriba.
James’s perspective is a little different. “I’ve seen a lot of my friends die. Jana was diagnosed when she was 14 and died when she was 16. Keaton was diagnosed when he was 14 and died before he was 16. I was diagnosed when I had just turned 13 and I just turned 20. That’s pretty cool.”
It’s that spirit of hope and selflessness that prompted Moriba to film “Until 20,” a documentary on his life. “I remember James saying how lucky he is, he had another 1,000 days and while he was talking I’m sitting behind the camera and I’m weeping because that’s nothing. When you’re 20 years old that’s nothing.”
Moriba hopes the film will create awareness and raise funds to research sarcoma. “This film is about James’s life and it’s about living. It’s about making the most of what we have whether it’s 1,000 days or 70 more years.”
To finish this project Moriba and her co-director have turned to Kickstarter to raise $50,000. “We really need to create awareness and I hope this documentary will achieve that.”
Hopefully a documentary that inspires and informs can raise $50,000, especially when a guy who wanted 10 dollars for potato salad raised $55,000.