In a recent segment of A Wider World shown on WTVS – Channel 56 in Detroit, Michelle Riba, director of the Cancer Center’s PsychOncology Program, along with Mel Majoros, a breast cancer survivor, athlete and radio show host, talk about the “new normal” after cancer treatment.
Guest blogger Betsy de Parry posts today about how she came to produce a weekly PBS television segment that regularly features experts from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Watch the show, A Wider World, tonight at 5:30 p.m., on WTVS in Detroit.
Guest blogger Betsy de Parry
By Betsy de Parry
When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma nearly 10 years ago and successfully treated at University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, I could never have dreamed that I would have the chance to produce reports about cancer for a PBS show.
The opportunity came as a complete surprise early this year when Peggy Shriver, executive director of the Michigan Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, introduced me to Elizabeth Kelly, executive producer of the half-hour weekly PBS show A Wider World. On the air since 2000, A Wider World has been the only regularly scheduled TV show about disabilities, but its focus is on abilities. Each week, the show introduces viewers to others who have overcome obstacles and misconceptions and delivers information designed to improve the lives of those who face challenges.
Elizabeth wanted to devote a part of each show to those facing cancer. Would I be willing, she asked, to produce them? I was not only willing, but eager!
To determine what people most wanted to know, I created a survey with two dozen potential topics and asked people in a couple of online support groups to answer. The response was overwhelming. Respondents wanted to learn more about everything from survivorship to pathology, medical imaging to pain management, clinical trials to parenting and children’s issues.
There was no question about whom I would ask to address the topics: experts at my “cancer alma mater.” I wanted to give viewers a glimpse of what I know so well: that U- M is truly extraordinary, made so by dedicated, remarkable people. Continue reading →
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