Monday, 11 November 2013

Gizzajob.


Some of you know, some of you don’t - but I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently.

While I have managed to do a little work, most of my time has been spent reading, researching, and trying very hard not to feel too bloody sorry for myself.

But an article I read today by international cancer blogger Chris Lewis  in the latest edition of My Healthy Lifestyle  gave me some food for thought, and probably a much needed kick up the arse. I strongly recommend you give it a read.

Let me explain. I need a job.

I mean I really need a job. Not the money. Not the security. The job.

I’m experienced. Across the broad spectrum of journalism and broadcast news I’ve been there, done it, and bought the t-shirt. I’m not even that old.

So what’s the problem?

I have cancer. Da-daaa! That’s a downer, eh? A bit of a party stopper. Stage IV too!

While I am relatively new to the struggle, I was only diagnosed in August, I am already feeling isolated from the regular workforce that was once so important to me.

I had given up my full-time job and was on the threshold of entering the freelance market when I was diagnosed. Talk about awkward timing - just when I needed every ounce of my energy and confidence.


But of course a cancer patient has to be honest with a prospective employer, even as a freelance. And to be fair, anyone suffering from a chronic illness that involves frequent and sometimes debilitating courses of treatment would present an unfair burden or risk. 

So it’s tough. None of us know exactly how we are going to respond to any particular round of treatment, or how long it will take us to get back on our feet. So while I have certainly been looking for a job, I haven’t actually applied for any because I've pretty much convinced myself that I am unemployable.

And this makes having a job so much more important. Self esteem. A reason to get up in the morning the day after chemotherapy. Feeling responsible. Wanted. Important even. Needed. 

That is really needing a job. Any financial rewards or security are pleasant by-products. 

Yes I need a job. But so do many others who are in far worse shape than me. 

So the question is: how do we change this? What can we do as a society, as a community, to create opportunities for people with chronic diseases such as cancer? 

I would really like to hear your thoughts. 











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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Pediatric Cancer Research/Resources



Ridealist Productions is donating 30 percent of our fee for an upcoming project to an organisation(s) involved in childhood cancer research or support.

Why? 

Just over three months ago Ridealist cameraman and producer Chris Gelken was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma. While Chris and Ridealist have previously supported cancer research in one way or another - including participating in Movember 2012 - the diagnosis sharpened our focus. 

For instance, we became aware of a huge disparity in the distribution of research funds and of available resources for supporting individuals and families dealing with cancer. In the United States for example, less than 5 percent of the government’s total budget for cancer research is spent on childhood cancer. 

Ridealist is not going to change that. But we can make a contribution towards changing it. 

About us and more on the project.

Ridealist was established as a non-profit society in Hong Kong in 2009. 

Since then we have produced more than 30 videos for small, grassroots NPOs and community groups on a pro-bono, volunteer basis. 

In June of this year we de-camped from Hong Kong and moved to central France where our plan is to re-establish Ridealist as a functioning social enterprise. 

Our essential “business plan” is to produce social documentary material and commercial videos as a social enterprise - at a social enterprise rate. This will enable us to remain sustainable while pursuing our original goals to provide media services on a volunteer/pro-bono basis to those groups and individuals who simply have no budget. 

We are currently working on the first of our commercial projects - A Year In The Vines - a four-part series on wine production in the south of France.



Ridealist is responsible for filming and editing the production. As part of our commitment to social responsibility we plan to donate 30 percent of our fee for this project to pediatric cancer research/pediatric cancer resource organisations. 

In addition, the producers of A Year In The Vines has announced they will contribute 50 percent of all funds raised above the production target amount. 

We are currently seeking research/resource organisations to partner with. Perhaps we can select an organisation for each of the four segments of the production, or share the overall amount between two, three, four, five, six organisations. What do you think? 

We would promote the partner organisations on A Year In The Vines website, Facebook page etc, using your logo and carrying links to your websites. 

If you would like to be considered as a partner organisation, please do get in touch with us as soon as possible! We plan to roll out the fundraising video on November 1st. 

For some of our latest work please visit our website, but for a more comprehensive gallery of  the videos we have produced over the past couple of years you can find us on our page at GoodnessTV. 

Warm regards,

Chris and Shirley Gelken

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Monday, 14 October 2013

BC/AD


Nothing can prepare you.

Even when you have harboured suspicions that there might be something seriously wrong, the words still hit you like a hammer blow.

“You have cancer”.

Suddenly everything becomes BC and AD.

Before Cancer, After Diagnosis.

In less than the time it takes to draw a breath, the person you were in the years BC has left the room.

And for a while it feels like he has taken every friend or lover you have ever had with him.

The contemplation of your own fragile mortality is a very lonely process.

________


While still trying to absorb and come to terms with the diagnosis -- and the often debilitating consequences of the treatment -- you suddenly notice you have stopped planning.

It really is quite a shock.

We all plan. It is a central plank of our very existence. Next week, next month, next year. Retirement. Children’s graduation. Wedding anniversaries. We all plan. We can’t help it.

But the freshman AD just stops doing it. Perhaps not entirely consciously, but stop it does.

The future is no longer a fascinating mystery in which we surrender our inhibitions and indulge our fantasies.

It is dark, painful and so very scary. The freshman AD just doesn’t (want to) think about it.

Period.

_________

TBC.....























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Friday, 5 April 2013

Ridealist - Social Enterprise Video Productions


Ridealist Productions - was originally established in Hong Kong as a non-profit society in 2009. 

Since then we have produced more than 30 videos for small, grassroots NPOs and community groups entirely on a pro-bono, volunteer basis. 

In late 2012 we decided to embark on this work full time - and since mid-June this year have been setting up our new base of operations at our home near Limoges in southwest France. 

Our essential “business plan” is to produce documentary and social awareness videos as a social enterprise - at a social enterprise rate. This income will enable us to remain sustainable while pursuing our original ambition to provide media services on a volunteer/pro-bono basis to those groups and individuals who simply have no budget.

We’d like to become the “go to crew” for social documentary and awareness videos for the grassroots non-profit sector - globally! 

For some of our latest work please visit our website, but for a more comprehensive gallery of  the videos we have produced over the past couple of years please take a look at our page on GoodnessTV. 

Warm regards,

Chris Gelken and Shirley Han Ying

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