Peptamen,Green Chili and My Film Festival Marathon

Peptamen, Green Chili and My Film Festival Marathon
11/13/11

Hi, guys, it’s me , Ana, finally. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Many thanks to those of you who read my last blog, “Eat, Shit and Pray” in Sept. and who sent such supportive comments. I have been doing those three things for the last 2 months since my blog, and am happy to report that there are positive results. I have gained 13 pounds by ferociously eating Costco croissants, guacamole, peanut butter-ice cream-chocolate syrup milkshakes and 3 cans of Peptamen (pre-digested fat) nutritional supplements daily for months. I’m so tired of eating. I’m also taking a great protein powder drink called Empower Pro that was invented by another CF, post-transplant athlete named Dottie Lessard. This product is healthy and natural and low in fat and sugar so it digests very well. I would recommend it for anyone needing extra protein: www.wholebodywellbeing.com .

Truthfully, I’ve been hesitant to blog because I’m starting to feel that reporting about what’s going on in my life – health stuff and film stuff- is getting to be old news. But it is what it is, and I guess that is what people blog about- what is going on in their lives, right? Isa and I have been ferociously busy with the film festivals, and I haven’t had the time to blog, sadly.

Just 3 weeks after my hellish bowel surgery in August, I boarded a plane for Washington DC to join our film crew for three East Coast premieres of the Power of Two. My new belly scar had popped open a few days early and I was taped up and cautious but determined to go anyway as Andrew and Marc helped carry my bags. We just had a spectacular San Francisco premiere at the Castro theatre on 9/10/11 , and gave ourselves one day to rest (who wants to fly to DC on 9/11?), departing on 9/12/11. We had a wonderfully welcoming public relations team from the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS- the nation’s organ procurement central agency) meet us in Richmond on 9/13/11 for a delicious Southern meal, followed by our evening film premiere. The staff at UNOS set up the premiere, and other than helping with outreach to our network, we didn’t do much. Isa and I decided to walk to the theatre from our hotel. The hotel concierge told us the theatre was half a mile away. No problem. Isa had her scooter due to her broken foot and I had my taped belly so off we went, in our dressy clothes. We walked and enjoyed the Southern neighborhoods of Richmond on Monument Avenue with its statues of Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, Robert Lee and other “heroes” of the Confederacy. About 30 minutes passed and we realized we were nowhere near the theatre. The southern late summer heat was beaming down on us and sweat dripped onto our dressy clothes. Blisters formed from my shoes. Well, THREE miles later, we arrived at the hotel, with Andrew and Marc wondering where the hell we were. Well, at least we got some exercise, even if my feet were bleeding from those darn shoes.
The film premiere audience consisted of staff from UNOS, medical professionals, the transplant community, the general public and people affected by lung diseases including CF. We were most honored to meet the founder of UNOS, and his family including his twin daughters. In addition, we met the CEO of UNOS. What an honor!! Some of the most touching stories I remember from meeting guests after the show, was a young East Indian father who brought his kids who were about 8 and 9 years old. He said that he read about the film in the paper, and brought his kids so that they can “watch something about other people’s hardships so they would learn to appreciate what they have.” We met other transplant recipients, and members of the transplant community who themselves had amazing stories to share, including a woman who received a kidney in Vietnam.
The following day we headed to the US Capitol for a screening that Andrew organized. He has ties in politics and arranged for four senators to attend a Power of Two reception at the Capitol building with us prior to showing the film. Unfortunately, they did not have time to stay for the film, but spoke highly of the causes of CF awareness and organ donation at the reception. Each of the senators gave a few remarks, which seemed just spoon fed to them through “talking points” and instruction from being briefed. In one speech one senator stated “We are so grateful that when Anabel contracted CF in the year 2000, that organ donation was available to her.” Oops. So much for being informed. I didn’t know whether or not to sympathize or be annoyed. These Congress people run around all day to meeting after meeting, supporting cause after cause, with brief information just moments before being in the public eye. They were friendly and we chatted briefly but mostly it seemed more like a photo opp to have them there. Did they really care? There are so many other pressing national crises to attend to in our government right now, I would imagine organ donation is a lower priority, a healthcare option for the golden privileged. There was wonderful catered food ordered for the reception including fantastic sushi, but as the reception ended we realized there was more than half the food left over due to a small turnout. The rules of the Capitol building are that you can’t remove food from the catering premises so we had to throw tons of food away. It was so painful. That is not my style at all but apparently the style of our wasteful US government. There’s nothing that urks me more than wasting food (besides smoking)!
The following day, we prepared for our largest DC debut at the historic Avalon theatre in Washington DC. We had about 300 individuals attend including Dr. Koh (Asst. Secretary of the Dept of Health & Human Services) and Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institute of Health and co-discoverer of the CF gene. It was such an honor to have them present. We had a wonderful sushi reception and met many people from all walks of the general public and our networks. One woman came up to me and announced that she used to babysit us when we were kids. She was the wife of a physics colleague of my father. They had moved back East, and recently read about the film in a local DC paper and put two-and-two together. Amazing!! There were 17 attendees with CF. We provided masks and hang gel for them to wear during the film to protect others with CF and transplant due to the issues of cross infection (in which a person with CF can spread their lung infection to another person with CF ). Amazingly, we found some people with CF so clueless about the concept of cross infection. This generation of CFers is so ingrained not to associate with others CF yet when they finally do, many do not know how to behave safely. Some wanted to shake our hands, some didn’t wear masks. It was so frustrating. I feel that the philosophy to prevent people with CF from coming together without actually teaching them how to gather safely is counter-productive. To me, it is equivalent to teaching abstinence in the HIV community , without teaching safe sex. People with CF are going to come across each other and should know the precautions when doing so. We received feedback from the cross infection zealots about our film in which some were upset that the film shows people with CF mingling at camps; this is taboo and they say cross infection should have been addressed in our film. So we make it a special point to make it safe for people with CF to attend the film.
The screening went beautifully, and many people were moved and gave wonderful feedback. We had a thought provoking Q&A afterwards with Dr. Koh and Dr. Collins. At one point the discussion centered around healthcare reform. As so many Americans are pounding on the door of the feds for health care support, I re-phrased a quote from one of my heroes , “ Ask not what healthcare reform can do for you, but what you can do to reform your health… and the health of others through organ donation.” We all have a stake in health- our government, communities, families and most of all, ourselves.
For a Do-It-Yourself screening in a city where we had no real ties, I thought a turnout of 300 people was pretty good. I was pleased that our multiple emails to CF, transplant and Asian groups in DC paid off. There were genetic counselors there, people from Genetic Alliance, Asian groups, transplant center and CF center staff, old college and high school friends, Doni Bell and her family/friends (she was the pancreas recipient of my first lung donor, James, and is featured in the film), and many more. It was truly wonderful.

About a month later, and two chemo treatments later, we headed out on a slew of fall film festival opportunities. The frenzy started Oct 17, with a trip to Santa Fe for the Santa Fe Independent film festival. We went with Robin and Anna Modlin, two other characters in the film and dear friends of ours, and we met my parents there. Anna had CF and was transplanted a year ago; Robin is her mother. Isa had bid on a vacation home in Santa Fe at the CFRI conference years ago and won a week stay at the luxurious vacation home of a CF community member. The home slept ten and was decorated like a Southwest museum including luxuries like fine art, a stuffed turkey, pool table, theatre room, patio Jacuzzi, leather sofas and a gorgeous view. We spent five days at this wonderful home, cultivating our friendship with the Modlins, while visiting Santa Fe art galleries, shops, historic areas (Santa Fe is home to the Palace of the Governors, built in 1610, the oldest government building in the USA) and devouring scrumptious New Mexican food including tamales, chimichangas, enchiladas, and chili rellenos smothered with red or green spicy New Mexican chili. For the first time in years, I was able to travel and eat whatever I wanted without major consequences and GI misery and crisis bathroom urges. I swear, this cancer was one of the best things that happened to me this year. What a huge relief to eat normally without pain!! I devoured very bite, with my mouth burning, ignoring the oncology warning to avoid spicy foods while on chemotherapy. Amazingly, I felt no effects from these first few doses of chemo, except sun-sensitive skin that burned easily. Maybe my body has become so accustomed to toxic medications throughout the years that it just turned its sensors off.

During our time in Santa Fe, we had to balance the wishes of seven people so our vacation repertoire was a diverse mix of shopping, eating, hiking and visiting art galleries. Poor Dad and Trent suffered through the dominating desire of five women who wanted to shop at Santa Fe’s most unique stores of Indian jewelry, homemade arts and crafts, and unique Southwestern goodies. Rest was not a part of the equation during this week. Our room had a gorgeous bed but it was right beneath a skylight, so each morning at six I was awakened by what seemed like a giant iPad screen in my face.

We snuck in two short hikes along Tesuque Creek and in Hyde State Park, within the stunning local mountains of the Sangre de Christo range that surrounds Santa Fe. At 5000 feet, the autumn was in full force, and the mountainside was sprinkled with yellow aspens and other breathtaking red, orange and golden foliage amidst junipers, ponderosa pines and pinon woods. The trail looked like the yellow brick road, sprinkled with fallen gold petals of the aspen trees. The mornings and evenings were crisp, showing our breath as we exhaled outdoors, but the high desert sun brought quick warmth and a golden clear brilliance to a blinding blue sky so rarely encountered in the Bay Area. The uniformity of Southwestern architecture consisting of earth colored adobe buildings adorned with hanging chilis, the creative presence of artistic expression, the lack of chain stores and mini-malls, and the peace of a small town culture based on history, art and native history brought an ambience that just invited me to sit and be a witness to this unique and charming setting.

We attended several films from the festival, including a powerful documentary film called “Run To The East” about Native American high school kids who were ambitious track and field athletes using that talent to get scholarships to college to get out of the reservations. Also, we saw a new film called “This Film is Not Yet Rated” by Kirby Dick, the director who previously did the movie, SICK, about our CF mentor, Bob Flanagan who pushed the limits of sadomasochism as a means to cope with CF. He had filmed part of SICK at our LA CF camp in 1995 and it was amazing to meet him again at this setting years later. He gave me some of the DVD’s of his left-over CF Camp footage from 1995 and I look forward to sobbing to this in the privacy of my own home in the future. Kirby Dick’s new movie was about the motion picture rating system and the corruption, inequity, monopolies and biases that go into rating films as PG, PG-13, R,and N17. It was an eye opening view at how films are rated –by a secret group of 8 people who supposedly represent average parents- and the disturbing realities of our society’s acceptance of sex and violence (especially towards women) in film. The film festival itself was very informal, run by a young group of artists, and wrought with clueless volunteers, technical difficulties, delays and almost humorous mishaps. Our film was a no-host event in the upstairs of a youth center, and about 50 people attended, with about 30 more joining towards the end of the film because they had come for the next film but things were so delayed they were allowed to sneak into ours for free as a consolation. We had about 15 people show up from the New Mexico Donor Services and the Albuquerque CF center. There were several friends from the CF community who came as well, and members of the general public for whom the CF and organ donation was a foreign concept. Overall, the screening went well, and we were satisfied with the showing, despite the chaotic organization of the festival.
The next day Isa drove herself back to Albuquerque at 3AM to catch a flight to Tokyo for the Tokyo International Film Festival. With the six of us remaining in Santa Fe, we loaded into our rental car and took a scenic road trip northeast to Taos , New Mexico, famous for skiing and native American heritage. On the way, we stopped in the remote New Mexican town of Chimayo , to visit El Santuario de Chimayo, an old Catholic church that has historically be known to have holy dirt capable of healing powers. Legend has it that Native Americans, Spanish settlers, Catholics and modern day people have made pilgrimages to this location for centuries due to its holy, healing abilities. The holy room that contained the pit of healing dirt was littered with crutches, walkers, braces, and other medical paraphernalia amidst photos of people who were touched by its powers. We collected some of the holy dirt and said prayers to our dear friends who were struggling for health like Nahara and Jessica S. Anna Modlin and I left Donate Life bracelets as a tribute to the healing we have received. We left the healing grounds with dirt rubbed on our bellies and chests (I wore a mask). In the distance, a coyote walked in a meadow alone, to a backdrop of a yellow, red and green hillside. Breathtaking to say the least…

Departing from Santa Fe, Trent, Mom and I headed to Eugene, Oregon for the Eugene International Film festival. We arrived after the festival had begun, and were greeted in our simple motel by my cousin, Britta, and her family, who had driven from Seattle to attend the show. The festival showed The Power of Two on Sunday afternoon, 10/23/11. Having heard about our acceptance into the festival only 3 weeks earlier, our frenzy to publicize the event to the local CF and transplant community on short notice proved amazingly fruitful. We had several members of both communities attend (including more isolated people with CF who wanted to hug me) and a wonderful presence from the Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank (organ procurement agency) that set up a booth in front of the theatre to promote organ donation. The film was shown in a real theatre located within a shopping mall in Eugene. Volunteers and staff of the festival were professional, organized and welcoming. My wonderful donor family, the Dorns, featured in the film, came and I was not shy about introducing them and giving them accolades during the Q&A. Friends from the past attended, reminding me how many ties we have in so many cities. Those friends included my mother’s friend, a friend from grad school, and most remarkable, my former CF camper from LA camp, Sara, who I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. She was now in her thirties, married and had a child of her own. It was so wonderful to see her well, although her sister, who was also a camper of ours, died years ago and I could see the pain in her face. For many with milder CFers seeing the film, or for those who had suffered a family loss, the film clearly evokes emotions and many left the theatre with red eyes and words that were difficult to articulate – seeing the end stages of CF and what may lie ahead takes the truest of courage.
After a wonderful dinner party with the Dorn family and my mother’s friends, Trent and I attended the closing party of the Eugene International film festival to meet and greet other film makers and thank the organizers of the festival for accepting the Power of Two. To our surprise, our film won an award for the Most Socially Engaging Documentary film. We were so honored to accept this award and share what a significance it was since my first donor lungs had come from Eugene and being there allowed the community to witness the strength of the Dorn family.

In an attempt to entertain my accompanying husband with some semblance of a vacation, we woke early the following day and raced back to Portland at 7AM on 10/24/11 to do a little sightseeing. I drove Trent to Multnomah Falls, a 611 foot tall roaring cascade of icy water, in the Columbia River Gorge for a scenic drive through more autumn colors in a completely different geographic setting than Santa Fe. This was somewhat of a nature shock to be in the desert one day and in the Pacific Northwest the next day. The joys of my huge carbon footprint…

Unfortunately, due to sleep deprivation and an overloaded mental status, I missed several freeway exits and we spent more time driving than actually hiking the falls. When we finally arrived, we only had about 20 minutes to walk to the bridge that stood before the falls and take photos. It was a typical Stenzel-style rush stop with no time to eat as usual. Rush, rush, and hike, hike… Back in the car we went to catch our flight back to San Francisco.

Returning home I rushed to the headquarters of Stanford’s United Nations Association Film festival to pick up our passes, confirm the logistics of showing The Power of Two on 10/26/11, and be interviewed by a campus magazine. Though exhausted I was on an adrenaline high and fatigue was not an option. Fuck chemo. It can’t get in the way. Fortunately, I slept 10 hours on Monday and Tuesday, before attending my third domestic film festival of the month, the traveling United Nations Association Film Festival, located on Stanford campus, with the theme “Education is a Human Right.” I was able to see one of their films, HAPPY (www.thehappymovie.com), a documentary that examines what makes people happy. It looks at cultures all over the world and asks the question, does money make people happy? Through personal stories and expert interviews, the film shows that some of the happiest people on Earth are those who find internal happiness through connection with others, having a faith, and purpose, rather than external happiness of wealth, image and fame. Ironically, Americans are not all that happy compared to poorer nations, and Japanese of all people, are the unhappiest on Earth, according to this film. I found this no surprise. How sad that we still have to convince people that money and materialism does not buy happiness. Why is that a novel concept in this day and age?
I attended The Power of Two on Wednesday, 10/26/11 on Stanford campus, with Anna Modlin and our associate producer , Jennifer Schmidt. Jennifer and I were on a “filmmaker’s panel” earlier in the evening to discuss global health issues among other filmmakers whose films touched upon health issues like organ donation, rural medicine, HIV, and cultural influences upon deafness. I felt so at home in this Stanford environment that emphasizes the educational aspects of film, and created a forum for dialogue, sharing and advocacy.
For each festival, I pack my bags with books and soundtrack CDs to sell, organ donation awareness materials, a guest book , receipt book for sales, cross infection sign and masks/gel for CFers who attend, and film postcards. I also bring an extra DVD copy of our film in case of technical difficulties. When I arrived at the UNAFF’s chosen location to show our film at the Stanford Medical School, I found the auditorium packed and over 50 people standing outside. The volunteer announced that they would be able to enter the auditorium but would have to stand for the duration of the film. That was unacceptable. Many were colleagues, Stanford friends, Stanford students, CF and transplant community members and healthcare providers from Stanford who had paid for tickets to see the film. I caught a glimpse of a former Stanford human biology professor, Dr. Bob Seigel, who saved the day by offering to help set up my spare DVD in an adjacent lecture hall for the overflow audience. Thank goodness he did that so that people could sit comfortably! I was extremely satisfied to see two packed rooms running our film simultaneously thanks to our Stanford connections and an open and flexible UNAFF staff.
Leaving UNAFF at 11:00pm, I rushed home to get a few hours of sleep and head to San Diego the next morning with Anna Modlin for the 12th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. This was her second trip since her transplant 11 months earlier and it was a joy to go just the two of us. This by far, was the most impressive film festival I attended. The huge staff was welcoming, organized, helpful, and on top of it! They provided film makers with a hotel night, small travel stipend, a generous goodie bag, and detailed instructions about the who, what and when of each event. The staff at SDAFF reached out to the San Diego CF Foundation and organ donation groups to collaborate and organize a reception and invite over 50 members of each community. The theatre was adorned with a red carpet, a hallway full of vendors and film information, workshop opportunities and a reception area. Our film showed at 7pm on 10/27/11 and it was almost a packed theatre with members of the general public, CF and transplant community, healthcare providers, and film festival attendees. Maybe the 14 hours of emails I did to publicize the event may paid off! The Q&A was facilitated by the director of the SDAFF, Lee Ann Kim, who was dynamic, energetic, and an excellent interviewer. Anna Modlin and I stood in front for Q&A, answering questions about organ donation, CF and the making of the film. One man in his fifties from the audience stood up to tell his story, stating that he was diagnosed with CF at 16, spent many years in the hospital and doing treatments, and then moved to Taiwan in the 1970’s and started doing Qigong and martial arts, and was “cured”from his CF. In 1986 he walked 26 miles a day for 115 days without symptoms of CF. I worried about his message. Was it the most appropriate thing to share in this setting? Sounded like a case of misdiagnosis to me, but I worried about the impression it may have on young parents who may be given false hope for a quick fix or miracle cure through exercise for CF. And after watching our movie, Anna Modlin and I joked, “Well darn, maybe we should have just done more Qigong and we wouldn’t have needed transplants.” Like CF is that damn simple. Did the guy really have CF? I asked him later if he had genetic testing and he said no…
It turned out that the same weekend in San Diego, the National Society of Genetic Counselors was having their annual educational conference. So my genetic counseling best friend from graduate school, Jennifer B. , was in town and came to the film as well. In addition, one of my best friends from college, Joi, lives in San Diego. Joi, Jennifer and Anna Modlin were all my bridesmaids, reunited at the San Diego Asian film festival! I loved being surrounded by my dearest friends, and my mom, enjoying a busy evening. After the film, I was swarmed with people who had questions and comments, and though I feared germs being doubly immunosuppressed from chemo and transplant meds, I stood at a booth anyway with Jennifer trying to sell books and soundtrack CDs. It was over an hour of frenzied adrenaline, conversation, gratitude and keeping track of sales. Thanks, Jenn for your help! By 11:00pm, we left the theatre, searching for dinner. There were no restaurants open at that hour, so I had to commit my cardinal sin and eat at Carl’s Junior. God forgive me. I tried to find the healthiest item on the menu, while seeking calories. I drank an oreo-cookie milkshake,and learned it was 720 calories. Now, why on earth does a milkshake have to be so many calories?? That’s fine for a CFer but deadly for normal people. That my friends, I believe, is why America has an obesity problem.

The following day, Anna Modlin, Jenn and I were enjoying a nice brunch (mom left by then) when I received a phone call from Lee Ann Kim of the SDAFF stating that The Power of Two won the Audience Choice Award. Of 160 films in the festival, our film received the highest rating by the audience- of 80 attendees who submitted a ballot, 78 voted the film 5 out of 5 stars. I was humbled and truly impressed. She stated that we would be given the award at the award ceremony that evening. A crisis ensued- we had brought only one outfit! We therefore HAD to go shopping. So unencumbered by an XY male presence like we were in Santa Fe, we headed to H&M and Forever 21 to shop for cheap clothes. I found a nice skirt and top, after several failed attempts of trying on clothes that reminded me how far I am from age 21. It is time to act and dress my age, and Forever 21 is not the place for an almost 40 year old. Way too many hoochie-mama clothes in that store for me! After our shopping endeavor, we did some sightseeing in Old Town, a historic area of San Diego adorned in old Spanish adobe style buildings (formerly a fort, mission and Spanish settlement) converted into shops, museums and restaurants. The unique shops had colorful Mexican and South American art, pottery and unique Southwestern jewelry, with a touch of ornamentation for the upcoming Dia de los Muertos and Halloween celebrations. We devoured fresh churros and raced back to the hotel to change into our new outfits for the SDAFF award ceremony and closing party/film. At the award ceremony, it was announced that our film’s ratings of a 5 out of 5 from 78/80 audience members was so much higher than any of the other films that it “almost seemed rigged.” Now is that a compliment or a diss? For a nice review of the SDAFF festival and our film, see:http://sdaff.gala-engine.com/2011/2011/10/28/sdaff-d-8-the-power-of-millions/ .

We watched the closing film, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” which was a Japanese film about an 85 year old sushi chef who owns a world renowned sushi restaurant ($350 for dinner and six month wait for a reservation) in the basement of the Ginza train Station in Tokyo. It was a documentary of this man, his love and dedication of his job and the art of quality sushi making. The film makes Costco and Trader Joe’s sushi look like an insult to the art form of refined sushi making. However it also showed issues of over-fishing and the business of buying, selling and eating tuna. Forgive me God, that sushi is my favorite food. So what did we do after the film? We went out and ate sushi… so much for chemo.
That evening Joi was gracious enough to open her home to us and we stayed in her apartment with her humorous dog, Coco. After another brief night, we woke to spend a few hours sightseeing. We walked around a historic rural dam made by Father Serra in San Diego’s Mission Valley, then we headed to Coronado Island, where we ate the most expensive pulled pork sandwhich ever among a crowd of Republicans while overlooking the ocean. A friend from CF retreat who moved to San Diego joined us and we spend the next few hours relaxing on the sand at the beach, chatting and catching up. It was the most therapeautically relaxing sun and sand quiet time I had had in almost a year.
That evening, we said our goodbyes to the San Diego Asian film festival and to our friends and returned back to the cold and crowded San Francisco Bay Area. I had one week off to do another round of chemo, catch up on sleep, unpack and pack again, take care of my fellow cancer patient-dog Rupie, and conserve energy for our next round of November film festivals, which Isa will blog about .

It has been a whirl-wind tour with the film since September, and I am so grateful that my health has allowed me to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. What a blessing that I am on “chemo-light” with few major side effects between treatments so far.

We are grateful for the feedback we have received from the film, but also realize how subjective film viewing is, and that our film, though meaningful to many, is one of excellent thousands of films released annually that tell compelling and thought-provoking stories about issues that affect mankind. I myself have been moved by the films I have seen at all these festivals- from the lives of Native American kids (Run to The East), to the Wikileaks saga (WikiRebels), to the definition of happiness in various cultures (www.theHappyMovie.com), to the art of sushi making (Jiro Dreams of Sushi- trailer on YouTube ), to the frustrations of the biases of sex and violence in modern films (This Film is Not Yet Rated (trailer on Youtube), I have discovered the power of film to move, change, open our eyes and make social change. I have become addicted to documentary film and love the learning and depth that so many convey. I hope you can share in this discovery.

As I close this very long blog, I ask you to consider joining me in prayer for a friend of mine with CF who is desperate for a lung transplant right now. Jessie S. was the first person with CF whom I met as a kid at Kaiser in LA. She is pictured in our film and book, and we shared many hospital adventures together in childhood. She was the sickest of all of us, yet, has outlived us all due to her faith and perseverance, not needing a transplant until the age of 35. Now she is on a ventilator at the mercy of a SoCal transplant team to decide to transplant her or not. Please pray for her that she receives the gift of life soon without glitches. I cannot think of anyone who deserves that more right now. Thank you. Sorry this blog is so damn long- there was just so much to report since September. Till we meet again, thank you for your support and ongoing friendship…
May you be blessed with good health.
ANA

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2 Comments to “Peptamen,Green Chili and My Film Festival Marathon”

  1. Brenda maeder says:

    Hi Ana, my husband and I met your sister, Isa today in Albany, NY. We also watched your film, what an inspiration! My husband and I just celebrated a one year anniversary of my donation of a kidney to him. Keep up the good work and best wishes.

  2. Susan Attel says:

    Ana, two friends & I made the pilgrimage to Chimayo when my sister was pregnant with her first. 4 children later, Eva is born with CF. I keep a Mary tin of the holy dirt under her crib. I trust it will work for you as well as it has worked for her so far! Your advocacy inspires me, and I an so happy you visited one of my favorite sacred spaces while doing your work. XO, Susan

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