The journey of a son (me) trying to understand his mother’s death from cancer and what can be learned to achieve a long and healthy disease free life. If not everyone who breathes in asbestos dies from cancer, then what are the other factors that contribute to their demise.
Cancer is a leading cause of death, responsible for about 13% of all deaths globally. In the developed world it claims the life of about one in four people. According to the World Health Organisation this figure will rise to one in three by 2020. So most of us, if not all of us know someone close to us that has died from cancer. My mother died from the next wave of asbestos related cancer sufferers , the DIY generation. This documentary is a global look at living a long and healthy life, but it is told through my intimate story of my own search to understand my mother’s death.
I started life as a ski bum, but along the way I became a Winter Olympian, Winter Olympic commentator, stunt actor (in such movies as the Matrix) and was the host, writer and producer of the Snowshow for 15 years, screened most recently on the National Nine Network. My Mum, Janet, was born in Iowa, USA, the oldest of 11 children and part of the largest hemophiliac (anti blood clotting disease) family in the world. Mum married Dad, a New Zealander, and they both moved to Australia to raise a family. When AIDS came to the forefront in the 80’s Janet’s family was decimated due to contaminated blood transfusions. My sister Lisa is diagnosed with cancer of the Esophagus in 2006. Before Lisa can die, Mum is diagnosed with Mesothelioma and dies. How does a woman who had a goal to live to 100, that led a healthy active life die at 69? Sure she had exposure to asbestos but not everyone that breathes in asbestos dies of Mesothelioma.
The audience will relate to the story by comparing their life choices to those of both of my Mum and me, making them ponder their own mortality. This story is not about pointing blame or finding a miracle cure for cancer, it’s about how we choose to live, with consideration to environment, diet, exercise, lifestyle, attitude and how we cope with major life events.
REASON FOR BEING
To explore optimum health through cultivating healthy emotions; first by clarifying emotions, then confirming their importance to health, then determine what are healthy emotions, and finally how to nurture healthy emotions.
Photo by Julie Bowyer
A ski bum, that became an Olympic freestyle aerialist, that became a “Coach of the Year”, that became a stunt actor, that became a host and producer of the long running Snowshow, that commentated at the Nagano Winter Olympics and SLC Paralympics, and now has just completed this documentary, “What ate my Mum? And will it eat me?. Oh and let’s not forget I was one of Cleo’s Most Eligible Bachelors, awesome party, but now most happily married with two kids.