Home LeeLee Blogs Life & Lyrics- “Into the Fire”
formats

Life & Lyrics- “Into the Fire”

Published on October 9, 2012, by in LeeLee Blogs.

May your strength give us strength

May your faith give us faith

May your hope give us hope

 

Into the Fire

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

 

As a journalist, a long format project is quite a treat.  It’s a chance to tell a story in detail and in depth.  It’s such a luxury. You’re not forced to pick only the best sound bites and you don’t have to keep the storytelling to a certain number of words or amount of time (usually under 2 minutes).

In March of 2009, I had the wonderful opportunity to work on my first documentary.  The production was such a fulfilling experience on so many levels.  As a producer and writer, it was a challenging project.  As a cancer survivor, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I needed a good kick in the ass, a dose of reality, and a different perspective.

Just four weeks before I began production on the project, I had my first round of radioactive iodine radiation for thyroid cancer.  I was trying to get past the shock of my diagnosis, surgery, and radiation.  I desperately wanted my life to get back to normal. I needed a distraction.  I needed a project. Thankfully, my friend Jim of Ocean State Video had the perfect solution. He hired me as the writer and producer of “ A Walk in the Clouds, The Camp Dotty Story.”

Camp Dotty is a week long camp at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island for children battling cancer.  Logging hours and hours of interviews with the children, parents, doctors, counselors, volunteers, and nurses was a humbling task.  After listening to them, how could I feel bad about what I went through ever again?  There is absolutely nothing worse than watching a child suffer.  My thyroid cancer ordeal wasn’t nearly as bad as the suffering these children and families had to endure everyday.  It was painful to watch.  I cried and cried and cried while logging the interviews. One particular sound bite from a parent was really heartbreaking.

So we have the diagnosis, we fall apart. It’s absolutely shattering.  You never expect it’s going to happen to you.  You’re afraid of what the next day is going to bring.”

                                    Parent of a Camp Dotty Participant

 

Camp Dotty Patient

It’s Camp Dotty that brings some hope to the children and their families. It’s a positive in an otherwise negative situation.  When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family needs care.  Cancer affects the entire family.  It’s Camp Dotty that gives a much-needed break to the parents.

 

“Giving us a little space to breathe, to see outside of that tunnel and I’m not going to say that you forget about cancer because you don’t, you never forget about cancer, but for four days, I’m not dwelling on, ‘my son has cancer’…he’s at camp, he’s having so much fun, he’s making new friends, he’s happy.”

                                    Parent of a Camp Dotty Participant

 

Working on the Camp Dotty documentary changed me.  It allowed me to accept and embrace my thyroid cancer experience. It kicked my attitude into shape.   I realized there’s no time and there’s no reason to have a pity party.  It could have been so much worse.  I’m alive.  I’m a survivor.  How dare I bitch and complain?  I just watched a five-year-old full of fear and full of so many unknowns walk into a room and undergo chemotherapy.  That’s real pain and suffering.

May your strength give us strength

May your faith give us faith

May your hope give us hope

Bruce’s lyrics from Into the Fire will always make me think of my involvement with the Camp Dotty documentary.

May your strength give us strength

The strength shown by the children battling cancer gave me the strength to live with my cancer experience.

May your faith give us faith

The faith that the parents had in their children and all of the physicians gave me the faith to truly believe I’m okay and I will survive.

May your hope give us hope

The hope for a week at Camp Dotty and happier days without chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and clinic visits gave me the hope for a cure to childhood cancers.

LeeLee

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses

  1. Julia

    Do I really need to tell you how much I LOVED this post? You my friend are an amazing, beautiful person! Your selflessness and endless compassion never ceases to amaze me. I remember being so proud of you for finding the courage and strength to do this Documentary after everything you had just gone through… Feeling that same pride after reading this. I have no doubt that YOUR ‘strength, faith and hope’ makes a difference in all the lives you touch. You are loved and wished only the best. xo

  2. Sue

    Lisa – when I saw the documentary, I knew how proud you were of it, and it was AMAZING, but I didn’t realize how much it helped you at the same time you were helping so many others. You are an amazing woman! You have so many family members, friends and acquaintances who admire you and are truly influenced by your love and zest for life. Great job my dear friend! XO….

  3. teresa caraccio

    you truly are talented and inspirational…i really enjoy reading you page. best of luck to you and what you do fo everyone around you:)