March 29, 2011
Hey Sisters! I want to start out by passing along some information about some upcoming television opportunities for people who have been affected by diabetes/obesity. I was contacted by a producer at HBO who explained that they are doing a documentary entitled, “The Weight of the Nation.” Specifically, they are focusing on children and young adults who are speaking out about the food they eat, the physical activity they may lack, and the healthy lives they want for themselves, their friends and families. The film, one of five documentaries for HBO’s upcoming “The Weight of the Nation,” is being produced in partnership with the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. The film is intended for a family audience, and will be told entirely from the perspective of kids. It will be directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Shari Cookson and Nick Doob. They are interested in finding young people from about 9 to 18 who care about these issues and are acting as change-agents for their families, schools and communities. Nick and Shari are looking for real kids who need not be a part of a formal organization. In fact, the film is much more about the stories of individual kids--not organizations--whose stories will naturally unfold during the course of filming. At the heart of the film will be self-motivated kids, whose authentic experiences of making their world healthier will illuminate the issues and portray a sense of how the health of our communities needs to improve.
They are interested in speaking to young people who might have any of the following experiences or perspectives, for example, kids who:• Have been involved in finding new ways to get healthy food into their neighborhoods, schools and communities. • Are taking action to make change at all levels, such as meeting with local and state legislators or demonstrating for safer playgrounds or access to bike paths. • Are building a campaign to change our unhealthy eating habits. • Are changing their school environment, by taking on issues such as mandatory PE or recess periods before lunch, healthy vending machines, and nutritious school lunches. • Are replacing junk foods in their diet with healthy fresh food, possibly by starting their own backyard or community garden. • Are confronting their own weight issues or the weight of a family member in healthy and inspiring ways. • Are confronting their own weight-related health issues, such as Type 2 Diabetes, head on, or are showing the same concern for family members or friends. • Are fighting stigmatization or bullying against the overweight. • Are trying to promote physical activity and access to safe places to play and exercise. • Are speaking out against the targeting of children in the advertising and marketing of fast food and junk food.
If you know a young person who might want to share his or her story for this project, please contact Nick and Shari at Mackerelskyfilms@gmail.com.
In addition, MTV’s True Life is also recruiting applicants for an upcoming show about life with diabetes. Unfortunately, this ad is not as realistic and it does worry me in terms of how diabetes might be portrayed. Let me preface the announcement below by saying that the first two sentences should just be deleted all together!: “Does your diabetes hold you back from living the life the way you want? Do you have an extreme form of the disease which requires you to constantly inject yourself with insulin? Or are you stuck monitoring your diet and exercise when you would rather just live a more regular life? Does it make you feel different from your peers? How is your situation more difficult than your friends’ at school? Are you embarrassed by your diabetes? How often do you visit doctors and how much effort do you put into your health? Have you had any scares relating to your diabetes recently? Are your parents always on your case about your medication, diet, doctor’s appointments, and exercise? Are you planning on taking a new approach to handling your health in the near future?
If your diabetes causes you major difficulty in your life and you appear between the ages of 16 and 28, email us at email@example.com and tell us your story. We want to know how living with diabetes makes your life complicated. Please include your name, location, phone number, and a recent photo of yourself.”
On the other hand, this is an opportunity for someone with diabetes from our own community to step up and make sure that diabetes is portrayed correctly…. Hollywood is calling! Is it callling YOU????
One final note—I will be traveling to L.A. this week to attend Medtronic’s Patient Advocate Forum. (You can follow what’s going on at the event via twitter @diabetessisters.) If you have children, you are probably familiar with the Kid’s Choice Awards. I am very excited to share that me, my husband, and my daughter will be in the audience of the 2011 Kid’s Choice Awards that airs LIVE this Saturday at 8pm (EST) on Nickelodeon. Check it out if you have a chance—maybe, just maybe, we’ll make it to the big screen!