Michael calls me on a Thursday in a rush.

“How would you like to travel to Castro Valley to interview a woman for ResolutionCare?” He says.

Caught off guard, I respond, “Sure, when?”

“How about tomorrow?”

Quilt titleMy head starts spinning: the logistics of throwing together a trip in a day, the camera equipment I’d need, travel arrangements, and finally the most daunting part, interviewing a woman I had never met, knowing nothing about her story other than her name, Lisa, and her illness, Stage IV renal cell carcinoma.

I call Michael back a hour later and agree. He gives me a detailed picture, and explains that Lisa has been keeping a blog since her diagnosis. I give Lisa a call after dinner and tell her that I am very excited to interview her; I give her a bit of my story and she gives me quite a bit more of hers. I give her a few questions to think on overnight, and promise to keep her updated on the trip down.

I dive into the blog, lisasmissingkidney.wordpress.com. Even the title hints at her breezy, unflappable attitude regarding her illness. I start scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling. What I thought would be monthly updates turned out to be an incredibly detailed chronicle of her experience. This woman who was a stranger to me hours before, leapt from the page. Her personality and humor spilled from her words; this was a more intimate look at a human being than I was accustomed to. As I read through the months and years, I could sense how tough the journey had been, and how much harder it was going to be, yet she still made me laugh, she still kept ahold of who she was.

My point to all of this is much bigger than Lisa, me or the film we created together. The fact that I already felt like I knew Lisa could only be possible through the internet. Anyone on earth can connect to anyone else, and those connections can be as meaningful as face-to-face. While we joke about using the internet to share funny cat pictures, it has life-altering applications. There are apps on your phone now that allow you to track medications and symptoms in communication with your doctor. The organization and reach that telemedicine provides is improving individual’s standard of living and these tools are creating a more effective medical community.

Thank you for all of your participation and support,

Bogart Levesque

Resident Videographer

 

You can watch the complete film in which Lisa showcases her quilts at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTmoiNyzo74