ABOUT THE WHY? FOUNDATION
THE ORGANIZATION: The Why? Foundation is a cancer resource center being created by A.W. Gryphon as a response to her April 2011 breast cancer diagnosis.
THE WESBITE: The Why? Foundation website due to launch in late 2012 will serve as an easy-to-use resource website which offers information on all cancers in a clear and straightforward manner, the presentation and access being based on the understanding that cancer fighters and caretakers are generally overwhelmed and stressed for time and energy.
FIGHTER BAGS: As The Why? Foundation evolves Fighter Bags will be introduced. Fighter Bags will be made available to anyone with a cancer diagnosis and will include a selection of donated products intended to help each cancer fighter recipient mentally, physically and emotionally.
THE BLOG: The Why? Foundation blog is up and running. Intended to share news, inspiration and tid bits on everything from diet to research to people making a difference this is more of an informal blog open to and interested in a wide range of cancer related information.
ABOUT A.W. GRYPHON
Allison W. Gryphon is a novelist, filmmaker and breast cancer fighter with a passion for story and an undying appetite for living life to the fullest. On April 10, 2011 Allison found a lump in her breast. On April 13th she was diagnosed with stage IIIa breast cancer. On May 3rd she had a mastectomy and lymph node dissection. Allison has since been through chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, lymphedema therapy and radiation. During the process she stuck to her boot camp pilates classes, researched the foods, products and exercises that would keep her strong and continued working with minimal time off.
Allison was never sick during chemotherapy. Her recovery from both surgeries went remarkably well. Her hair has started growing at quick rate… And on a daily basis someone is coming to her wanting to know how she did it. People with cancer, friends and family of people with cancer, parents looking for new healthy habits to share with their children, people who have questions about cancer that they are too afraid to ask… the list goes on and for reasons which she can’t quite explain people are simply comfortable with Allison and want to hear what she has to say. She does her best to make time for everyone.
Allison had cancer, but her decision not to let cancer have her turned the experience into what she says is the best thing that ever happened to her. As a woman and as an artist she has become more than she ever imagined and happiness is something that she understands on an entirely new and profound level.
On the creative side, Allison’s first novel, Blood Moon, is out on shelves worldwide and her first feature film, La Cucina, premiered on Showtime in December of 2010. La Cucina won the honor of ‘Best Picture’ at both The Beloit International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Backlot Film Festival, as well as ‘Best Screenplay’ at the Bragacine Festival International de Cinema in Portugal. In April of 2010, Ms. Gryphon launched a movie and TV insider interview column called Monday Morning Hollywood at Examiner.com. In January of 2011, she began A.W. Gryphon’s Bits & Pieces, a Flash Fiction blog, which serves as an outlet for a wide array of genres and works.
Allison is currently working on the next book in her Blood Moon series as well as producing a documentary about dealing with cancer in our modern world, writing about her cancer journey, lending her body to a series of photographs documenting the breast cancer process and raising awareness for various causes, including Tippi Hedren’s Roar Foundation, where she is an active member of the Advisory Board.
ABOUT THE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY WHAT THE F-@# IS CANCER AND WHY DOES EVERYBODY HAVE IT?
I’m working to make the film I wanted to see when I was diagnosed with cancer. – Allison W. Gryphon
On April 10, 2011 Allison W. Gryphon found a lump in her breast. On April 13th she was diagnosed with stage IIIa breast cancer. Her immediate instinct was to pick up a camera and start asking questions. Not only for herself, but for all of us.
What The F-@# Is Cancer and Why Does Everybody Have It? is one cancer fighter’s journey of hope into the medical unknowns and emotional avalanche that is the cancer crisis.
What the f-@# is cancer and why does everybody have it? Perhaps dropping the f-bomb in the question and title is a bit extreme, but so is the fact that an estimated 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime.
What The F-@# Is Cancer and Why Does Everybody Have It? is not a film about a disease and what it is to have cancer medically speaking. This is a documentary about people. Average, ordinary and extraordinary people who were going on with their lives from day to day and then one day found themselves on the other end of a frightening diagnosis.
Through a series of interviews and shared journeys, What The F-@# Is Cancer and Why Does Everybody Have It? will take you through the facts, the questions, the unknowns, and the theories of what cancer is and why it is so prevalent in the modern world. The knowledge will unfold through the shared experiences of cancer fighters, friends and families of cancer fighters along with experts on western medicine, eastern medicine, alternative therapies and related fields.
For many, cancer is a cell under a microscope. For others it is a symbolic ribbon, a local fund raiser or a jar calling for help in the checkout line at the grocery store. For Allison W. Gryphon, cancer is a disease too big for how smart we are. It is a question that we should have more answers to.
“More personal to my experience, cancer is standing in the shower after your first biopsy all alone and having been told that keeping the scab intact is the most important thing, then pulling the tape off under the water as instructed and taking the entire scab off with it. Cancer is the horror of not knowing what to do standing in that shower all alone at six in the morning, before the doctor is in, and not trusting anyone else to tell you everything is going to be alright. For me Cancer is being closer to yourself than you ever imagined. It’s knowing who your friends, family and dedicated co-workers really are. It is a clarity, almost indescribable, about what is and isn’t important in life; enjoying a walk on the beach on a level you could have never imagined and truly tasting the sweetness of a fresh strawberry for the first time.”
Cancer is something different to each individual person going through it. It’s all relevant and understanding what cancer is to each person affected by it is just as important to the process as the cells being studied under the microscope. Cancer is about science and study and the practice of medicine, but most importantly cancer is about people. What The F-@# Is Cancer and Why Does Everybody Have It? is about understanding and celebrating those people. It’s about really hearing their voices and being invited in to those experiences in a way that will allow the viewer to walk away with inspiration, questions, hope, understanding and hopefully a desire to understand more and make things happen.
Directed by A.W. Gryphon
Produced by Alan Caudillo, A.W. Gryphon, Jackie Linder Olson, Justin Stirling
The film is currently in production and due to be completed in winter of 2012.
LIKE WHAT THE F-@# IS CANCER AND WHY DOES EVERYBODY HAVE IT? on FaceBook for updates and news about the film.