FF: Living Proof
Lane and I watched “Living Proof” last night, a biographical movie “based on the true life story of Dr. Dennis Slamon and the book HER-2: The Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer by Robert Bazell” (Wikipedia).
With the exception of some unfortunate language, immodest costuming, and an unnecessary bedroom scene, we really liked the movie. (I wish there were a Kids-in-Mind review for this movie. But there’s not. So here’s the “what we wish weren’t there” scoop. Language: primarily people using the Lord’s name in vain and some callous/coarse joking; costuming: shirts that were too low, etc.; immorality: depictions of an inappropriate relationship.)
Dr. Slamon is a doctor driven to help save lives of women with breast cancer and the development of a successful drug treatment. His wife is totally committed to supporting him in his mission and maintains the nurturance of their children and maintenance of home life, allowing him to give himself to the work. Their friend, Lily, uses her talents and connections to raise money to support the research. And the women suffering from cancer and their families courageously participate in the drug studies to allow the drug to be proven effective and safe for breast cancer patients.
We were inspired by the messages in this movie: Hard work, commitment, and sacrifice fuel worthy causes. Stay-at-home mothers who support their husbands in their work are as much a part of the success of their husband’s work as the husband is. Cancer patients endure great challenges. Families of those patients have a painful journey as well. Individuals who are inspired to do good can make a wonderful difference in our world. Education is so valuable. All the players in a mission are important, from the leader (Dr. Slamon) to their family (his wife and children), to their associates (the board members of the pharmaceutical company, other doctors, his research assistant, his friends, the cancer patients and families, the nurses and doctors associated with the study, the hospital and lab janitorial staff–SO many people) all work together as a body to make something good happen.
This movie reminded us of two other inspiring medical-development movies we have seen: “Gifted Hands“ (about Dr. Ben Carson) and “Something the Lord Made” (about Dr. Vivien Thomas and Dr. Alfred Blalock).
I would NOT recommend “Living Proof” or “Something the Lord Made” for children. The former contains subject matter that is more mature, and the latter is filled with language that was particularly offensive, if I remember correctly. (If I had a version of “Something” that was edited for language, I would watch it again to see if I could share it with my children. It is an incredible story.)
I wish film editors were more mindful of families when sharing amazing based-on-true-events stories!!!
I am awed by how the Lord nurtures inventions by those individuals who care about others and want to help humanity.
P.S. Watching the movie “Something the Lord Made” led me to reading about another doctor, Dr. Helen Taussig. She was the founder of pediatric cardiology and a colleague of Dr. Thomas and Blalock. Her work, along with her colleagues, has helped save untold number of lives of “blue babies,” children born with a heart abnormality called TOF (Tetralogoy of Fallot). Her story is wonderful, too!!