A Lion in the House Talkback
Get Involved
Learn More
The FilmPediatric CancerCaregivingSurvivorshipAlex's Art Corner
 

Visit our archived discussion forum to read posts from viewers, the filmmakers and family members from A LION IN THE HOUSE.

People have been asking how they can help or contact the families in A LION IN THE HOUSE. For more information, contact independentlens@pbs.org

This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13


6/23/06
Kathy
minneapolis, mn

This program was amazing. I myself am a survivor of childhood cancer. I have survived for 29 years. Of those 29, I have been cancer free for 16. My deepest desire is to give back to children and families as those who gave so that i could be here today. I am a living miracle and each one of my accomplishments in life today is seen as another hurdle that i have overcome. I see my life as a precious gem and i treasure each and every moment. i am presently back in college once again and want to pursue a degree where i can help others. My wishes for families going through tough times of illness with their children is that if i can survive my illness i believe that your child can.

6/23/06

I have just "recovered" from watching Part II. The kids were all so very brave. Last night as I watched, I decided that Tim should come and live with my family and me. He had become mine in a way, and this evening's conclusion was heartbreaking. Tim was a special kid, and so were all of the others. I have a very dear friend who lost her twelve year old son to Ewing's Sarcoma in 2002, so I was interested in the different forms of treatment and of the different family dynamics. These people are all amazing!

6/23/06
Molly Flannery
Covington, KY

I just finished watching the 2nd part of the series and I am so glad I was able to witness for myself the gamut of emotions which were portrayed. I felt such hope, love and sadness for the children and their families. What an incredible production. The doctors are the true heroes of our modern culture fighting the unending battle they face daily. I was very touched by the whole program. Thank you very much. I'm going to inquire tomorrow with Cincinnati's Childrens Hospital as to what I can do to be more involved with this whole thing. I live in the Greater Cincinnati area.

6/23/06
Michael Hallock
Dallas Texas

I was channel surfing last night and came across the first part of the show. I soon became totally captivated by it. I learned that wisdom does not necessarily come with age. The way in which those five young people fought and tolerated their pain has made me reevaluate my priorities in life.
I was profoundly touched by your show and I thank you so much for making it.

6/23/06
Jayne Bitker
Clear Lake, IA

Thank you so much for a documentary that is REAL. I have been waiting to see this since last October when I heard about it in Atlanta, GA at a Children's Cancer Camp Meeting. My son battled Osteogenic Sarcoma for five years before he could not fight no more. This documentary reminds me of alot but also lets me see things through the eyes of the kids. It was my child going through it and I was looking at it like a parent. I am so glad I can look back and know that we let Dustin make the decisions for his treatment and when he said no more that is was ok. These could teach us alot more then anyone else will ever teach us. To continue my son's memory I now am a volunteer for a children's cancer camp out of Rochester, MN. To the filmmakers thank you so much for such a wonderful real film.

6/23/06
Sandra Lindberg
Bloomington, IL

Thanks to this TV station, the film makers who created this program, and the very brave families who so generously have shared their stories with so many viewers. I hope their stories help people to understand how many of us are struggling with debilitating diseases in this country.

My professor from undergraduate school died of pancreatic cancer. My sister-in-law died of a rare abdominal cancer that usually only happens to men. Two of my sisters-in-law have been diagnosed with thyroid and uterine cancer and have undergone surgery, chemo, and radiation treatments. The place where I work has seen several people fight sometimes successfully, but often unsuccessfully, against a variety of cancers.

Biologist and author Sandra Steingraber writes in "Living Upstream" that 96% of cancers are caused by exposures from environmental substances. I have felt for many years that doctors are missing the boat when they focus on family histories to determine where a person's serious illness may have come from. In addition to family histories, why don't doctors ask us what chemicals we use in our homes, what kinds of foods and drinks we put into our bodies, what industries are located 5, 10, or 20 miles from our homes?

While the families in these programs are incredibly brave, why aren't we as a society brave in a different way? Why don't we ask ourselves how we might prevent these cancers in the first place, rather than trying to cure them once they have occurred? Why aren't health practitioner our community's strongest environmentalists, working as hard as they can to make cancer treatment less necessary?

Why don't we think about how we are affecting our neighbors when we apply pesticides and herbicides to our lawns and gardens on windy days or in amounts that run off into our waterways?

Why don't more people know that chemical exposures happen to them from the showers they take in the morning, especially if it's spring or fall and you live surrounded by industrial scale agriculture whose chemicals of choice find their way into the lakes that supply our pottable water?

Why aren't there Relays for Prevention instead of just Relays for the Cure?

I'm not arguing here that cancer research and treatment is wrong in some way. But when we starve our society of information about how the complicated, toxic cocktails we breathe in, ingest, and take in through our skin, we create a world where only one half of the research is getting done.

I hope our bravery is not limited to making the choice to witness the pain of these families. Perhaps it is most important that the empathy evoked in us for these brave children gets translated into actions that clean up our planet.

6/23/06
Merrily Davis
Philadelphia, Pa.

My cousin who is only 9 years old and has leukemia. To see what those children have to endure is heartbreaking. The families along with their children are so brave and I THANK YOU for sharing your experiences with the entire world and teaching them (including myself) about childhood cancer. I learned so much from the program and one thing is certain, life is so precious and you should appreciate each day. It broke my heart to see these innocent children have to fight such a horrible disease.They are all heros and are forever in my heart.

6/23/06
Andrea Miller

I just have to say thank you for "A Lion in the House". My mother fought cancer for years (I too gave my own blood to do a white cell transplant for her) before passing away 13 years ago next week. I have a special needs child that has been having a rough time as of late, and I needed a reality check and a reminder. "A Lion in the House" gave me that. Made me remember that although I do the things I do in his name, I need to remember to ask, or determine, what he wants. While he does not face eminent death as in cancer, we do face possibilities of his chances of dying being sooner rather than later.

Thank you for also helping me to see the struggle my mother must have gone through to make the decisions she made for herself, while trying to make decisions that would help her hang on for that quantity of time she had left with me (and my brother).

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...what a tough film that must have been to shoot, but I hope that you take an opportunity to show it again.

6/23/06
Mrs. Meg Senecal
Liverpool, NY

I may be working, but my day is consumed with images from happening onto your program last night. I kept trying to look away, but I couldnt. I went through an entire box of Kleenex and Alexs joy at returning home for the inevitable will remain with me for the remainder of my life, as well as the other children and their families and those tremendous doctors. I went into my childrens rooms (6/4) throughout the night giving them kisses as they peacefully slept without a care in the world. After that show, I will never complain about anything again. God Bless you and the families, and do let me know what can be done to assist.

Full of thoughts for people I never met.I am

6/23/06
Russell Bray
Spokane, WA

I just wanted to thank you all that were involved in the making of this film. As a father of a 10 yr old and in some way relating to these beautiful children, My father had cancer for 13 yrs and finally passed a few yrs back. It is so hard to put into word's how the parents of these children, have made me feel so proud to be a parent. The truth is life is so very precious, and as these strong, beautiful children have shown to me is to take every moment with your children and cherish them . Love them every day , because every day is a new adventure, and who better to spend it with. To the all the Doctors and Nurses God bless .TO all the children you are all in my prayers.

6/23/06
Mary Ellen Bellingham
Sea Girt, New Jersey

I cannot begin to tell you how moved I was by your two-part program. I am a colon cancer survivor and endured seven months of chemo. I have such empathy for these children, parents and families. No one can truly understand the loneliness, heartache and intense internal pain they suffer until you have walked in their shoes. The professionals in this field are to be commended for their untiring efforts. Thank God for their knowledge,expertise and compassion.

6/23/06
Krystal
Lithia, Florida

I just finished watching Part II of the documentary. I must say that I was deeply inspired by those brave children. They showed tremendous courage and fortitude in the midst of what, at times, seemed like insurmountable odds. If any of the family members are reading this- I pray that they receive peace that surpasses all understanding. For those whose children passed away, I hope and pray that they stay encouraged by the loving memories of the times spent with their children.
Thanks for sharing these inspirational stories!

6/23/06
Becky Burgett
Verona Ky

WOW!! I stumbled upon this show and was immediately taken back 6 years ago when my family "lived" at cincinnati Childrens Hospital and my son was trying to survive leukemia. We were in the same hallways with the same doctors and nurses you featured. What a reminder that I needed to appreciate where we are today...Totally cured! I spent the rest of night re-living the rooms, equipment, procedures, conversations and several desparate moments of being absolutely frantic with fear... a fear that I haven't experienced since. What a place this facility is...each and every nurse and doctor touched up while we were there and I often reflect upon that. WOW.. I am in tune with your programming and am glad I stumbled into it last night...although I am not looking too bright today because of it.

6/23/06
Barbara Hauck
Rego Park, New York

Your presentation, "A Lion in the House" was a courageous documentary. There were so many wonderful elements and the honesty of the families will help many people. The dedication of the healthcare professionals in Cincinnati was inspiring.

Two years ago I completed my M.S. degree in End of Life care. End of life care is a pioneer field and the need is critical in our American society today for more support in this area.

One year ago I felt the "calling" to become a registered nurse with a direction toward oncology or palliative medicine. After seeing the film, I felt affirmed in my direction and I truly appreciated seeing the dedication of the nursing staff for these children. I will be thinking about all of them when I start nursing school in the Fall.

As a mom, I cried with every parent in the film and know their experience will help many people. Their bravery in allowing themselves to be filmed during the most vulnerable times of their lives provided an honesty that will reach the soul of everyone who is a caregiver of someone with cancer.

6/23/06
khia khan
westminster Colorado

I have not experienced cancer in my own life. This film was took me out of my living room and into these families lives. I went to bed thinking of Tim and hoping in his last moments that he knew he wasnt alone. Today, I will not take my own happiness and health for granted.

6/23/06
Rachel McClanahan
Ventura, Ca

I was awake at 4:00am thinking about each of the families in this documentary and what they experienced. Alex's sweet voice and her tear's of joy over going home will stay with me for a long time I'm sure. This was the moment in the film that felt the most uplifting. For Alex, so much suffering was finally going to end even though it meant that her life was also going to end. She, like all of the other children, fought so hard for so long. This was a difficult program to watch because it is a very difficult subject. No one wants to see children suffer. Four hours never went by so quickly. Thank you for showing ALL facets of the experience of fighting cancer and not sugar-coating.

6/23/06
Diane Osgood
Hollidaysburg, PA

This show was one of the most moving pieces of film making that I have ever seen. Never having endured anything remotely like what these families have gone through, the courage of everyone involved from the children to their families to the hospital caretakers (and their kindness and caring) was incredibly uplifting and magnificantly portrayed. The main thing that I took from this was they are, after all, children, and to see that demonstrated was a core part of this film. Kudos to the filmmakers and PBS for showing the film.

6/23/06
Oneonta, NY

Wow! This was one of the most poignent programs ever presented on PBS. Although very difficult to watch at times, it was an incredible story to tell.

6/23/06
Connie Whittaker

This was the most heart-wrenching program I have ever viewed. Cancer does not discriminate and that was evident in this film with the different families that were shown in the film. I could see early on in the film how family support made a tremendous difference in the treatment of these children, especially the care of the mothers involved.
The periods of happiness the children expressed whether they were in hospital or at home, was the most uplifting. It took so little to give them joy even for a brief moment. When Alex cried because she was going home even though we the viewers knew she probably would not pull through, made my heart feel like it was going to explode. It wasn't just the children that effected me, it was the doctors, the nurses, the families. This film captured every angle of how this disease penetrates the lives of so many people. When I started watching this program, at first I wanted to change the channel, than I couldn't look away. My 7 year old nephew was diagnosed with cancer at 2 yrs of age. He went through 2 years of treatment and is currently in remission. I had no idea my brother and sister-in-law had to endure all they had with his treatment until I viewed this film. I called them right after the film was over.
In the end, I felt mixed emotions. I felt drained and I felt guilty. I got down on my knees next to my 6 year old daughter's bed while she was sleeping and thanked God for blessing us with this healthy child. I got up for work this morning, hugged my child and husband and didn't complain about my arthritis or headache...I just kissed them and said, "Let's have a great day"! That's what I learned from the film.
God bless all the families in the film, those families still fighting their battles and to Wisconsin Public Television for broadcasting this gripping, REAL story of these wonderful families.

6/23/06
Steve Millard
Dayton OH

I had the privledge to see this great film at its premire at Sundance in January. After 4 gut-wrenching hours I swore I would never "put myself" through that experience again. But, I have to admit I was counting down the days and hours until I could see this incredible story again on PBS. It was like no other film I have ever seen, it forced me to re-examine my life and all of its "problems" in the face of what these kids and their families all had endured. These people (including the Medical Staff of course)are so heroic to me and have so much courage that I truly am in awe of them. The filmmakers are also to be commended for giving the public a very intimate glimpse into lives that heretofor had been hidden away and really never considered. After my initial viewing of the film a day has not gone by that I didn't give my kids a hug and tell them how much I loved them, many days multiple times!. My son is in the Wright State University film program where Julia Reichert is a professor, and we are all very, very proud of this effort of hers and Steve's. If ever there was a movie that had the power to change lives-or how they are lived-then this is it.

6/23/06
Chicago, IL

I work in a cancer center, so when I happened to find A Lion in the House on PBS the other night, I thought I could handle watching it.

I could not.

I rarely cry while watching television, but I cried and cried watching the second part in particular. You get to wondering why these kids are put through so much when there is finally no hope, but at the same time you understand and cannot condemn.

At our center we deal mostly with adults, so this was a learning experience for me about the true devastation and hope in the realm of children's cancer.

6/23/06
Siga
Reston, VA

I happened upon the first episode Wednesday evening and was rivited to the screen and made it a point to watch Thursday's segment. This is "reality" TV. The reality of it all is that this film made me realize how much love and compassion becomes a part of such suffering no matter the social or economic status of the patients. At times I found my self angry by decisions made only to have that feeling melt away when one got the whole picture. The young patients are shown with such dignity as are their parents. The staff are a wonder and an example for everyone to emulate. For me, the most poignant segment was in the staff room with the oncologist (forgive me I don't remember his name) reading from Camus' "The Plague." It took my breathe away. Truly a very human documentary that should be a must see!

6/23/06

I found your show from channel surfing on its 1st night. I made a point to see the 2nd showing last night and again, I was profoundly moved by the honesty of the experiences of all these families and their beloved children. From indications of the first show, I knew before tuning in that the world would loose Justin, Alex, and Tim and even with that I cried for all of them and their families.

If there was anything remotely obvious in this documentary, it is that Cancer can touch anyone of any background. I felt the incredible and often quiet sadness of all the parents and their different manners in how they handled themselves. There is no perfect way to conduct yourself when your child╠s life is at stake; you do what you can and whatever you╠re capable of.

I was also impressed, amazed, and again moved beyond these words of expression at the heart and the spirit of all the young children involved.

Thank you for the gift of the messages this documentary brings.

Now it would be interesting if the filmmakers could document the record of success/failures/and side-effects from the drugs/the drug industry╠s efforts in this area. While the families and their children were so gracious and honest in this documentary, I doubt that the drug industry and the medical establishment would conduct themselves in the same manner or even permit such public review.

6/23/06
Nancy Tucker
Brunswick, Maine

A Lion in the House is an extraordinary film. My daughter is a childhood cancer survivor. Needless to say, I basically wept throughout this film as so many memories of ten years ago came flooding back. I wept for the people in this fine production. If anyone ever wanted to get a taste of what it is like to have your entire life shift on it's axis then this is the right show to watch. My daughter is well because of the wonderful treatment she received. This film showed how loving the medical people are with children while they are going through mind boggling treatments. Kudos to the film makers for letting others know how huge a need there is for more cancer research to be done. When your child gets sick, there is nothing you won't do that might make things come right. I wake up every single day of my life grateful that my daughter is still here. I take nothing for granted. This movie shows how one must re-prioritize your life. My hats off to the loving families that shared their personal war against cancer.

A war that some win and some lose. My heart goes out to all of them.

The film-makers and family made a beautiful film. They should all be proud of the work they have created. These children will live on in the hearts of so many as you can't help but care for them.

6/23/06
Cincinnati, OH

What an amazing film. Seeing the courage displayed by the children and their families in this film was a humbling experience.

6/23/06
dale ashcraft, justins dad
villa hills, ky

After last night you will know we lost Justin to cancer. He always said he wanted to work with kids at cancer camp and other situations to tell them it is something you can beat. The letters sent in by the kids, families, friends and medical people make me feel that the long filming and production of Lion in the House was worth every minute and tear. Steve and Julia made a wonderful documentary about my son and four other terrific human beings. Thanks for watching we the Ashcraft family hope it can help someone in the future with this devastating illness.

6/23/06
Carolyn Faulkner
Brunswick, Maine

Today I am taking my son Justin to the Maine Children's Cancer Program for his six month checkup. August 2006 marks his five year anniversary post-treatment for ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). Technically this means he is a cancer "survivor". I'm not exactly sure what that means. I feel thankful for his outcome and the fact that he has been cancer-free for five years, but the fear of relapse is never very far away. The anxiety surrounding semi-annual blood draws has not gone away. The passage of time doesn't make this process any easier and I am surprised by this fact. I watched with great sadness the scenes of bone marrow aspirations, infections, treatment failures and the ultimate passing of three beautiful, courageous children. Your film has touched my heart and I am grateful to you for covering such a difficult and painful subject. Thank you.

6/23/06
The Gebeline Family
Philadelphia, Pa

A fellow family from St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital told us about "A Lion in the House" about a month ago, and we have been anxiously awaiting for the program's debut. My son was diagnosed with a rare spinal tumor called a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor in July of 2003. I was so excited that a program like this was going to be aired, and I told EVERYONE that I knew to watch it. The response that I got was "Oh, I cant watch that, its too upsetting." This was EXACTLY the reason that I was so glad that someone had finally decided to produce a program like this. It is so important that people become aware that pediatric cancer does exsist, and these are real battles that familes like us are fighting every day. And we cant choose to not be a part of this world because "its too upsetting". I did watch both segments of the program and thought it was very touching. However, I would have liked the film to show others how much cancer can affect the FAMILY as well as the child and the caregiver. The film did slightly touch base on how cancer can put a financial struggle on a family, but it is really so much more than that. My husband lost his job over my sons illness. Also, I would have liked to see more interaction/interviews/viewpoints of the siblings of pediatric cancer patients. I know the struggles that my own children have gone through dealing with their brother being on and off treatment, being in and out of the hospital,and always playing second fiddle. And lastly, one thing that I did not see at all, is how these children are SPOILED AND UNDERDISCIPLINED, and how us parents are judged for that. I know this is a problem with all oncology children, and I am sure all the parents out there with children who have cancer will agree with me!!!
But all in all, it was a fabulous film, and my heart went out to all the families, as it does every day to everyone who is a part of our "world". My most profound memory of my sons diagnosis was actually before his diagnosis. We were in the hospital, right before they found out what was wrond with him, and we were in the playroom, and I looked around at the children in the room with us. There was one child in particular in the room, his name was Lee (I got to know him later, and he has since passed at the age of 10 from Leukemia). I remember looking at him ,bald, and hooked up to IV poles, pale and so sick,and thinking to myself "I dont belong here, my child is NOT this sick." At 2:30am that morning, a 7cmx8cmx3.5cm mass was found peeking out from behind my sons heart, and we began our journey.
www.frankiesfight.org

6/23/06
Kristi Bellamy
Indianapolis, IN

I too stumbled across this program and was absolutely touched and spellbound by the courage of the families and their beautiful children. I found myself mesmerized at the resilience of these young LIONS. A statement was made in the film that "children give us more than we could ever give them." The children in this film have given me a renewed spirit to be passionate for life and people. My heartfelt prayers and admiration for those lost and those surviving this illness. Everyone involved in this project is to be commended.

6/23/06
Birmingham, AL

I was touched on so many different levels by this film that I didn╠t know what to do with all of the things I was feeling. I have been training for a marathon as a personal goal but because of this film, I have now decided to raise money for the fight against this horrible disease. Thank you for making me aware of these families and their struggles. I will always remember.

6/23/06
Gayle Lingua
Los Angeles, CA

To the Families and Filmmakers:thank you. To Tim Woods' mother: he was and is a lion. I will remember him always. To Alex and Justin's families:their gifts will be with all of us always. To PBS: to show this film in its entirety is more than a public service. Thank you to all who made this happen.

6/23/06
Stratford, Canada

As a father of three healthy children, pediatric cancer has never entered my thoughts. This spring, while on vacation my family and I met the parents of an 11 yr old girl in Florida struggling with cancer. Since that time I have found myself thinking more about this family and their strength and courage; and the fact that we enjoy good health. I watched both parts of A Lion In The House and have been more deeply moved. These two experiences, coincidentally similar, have taught me to appreciate today and to focus less on material things and more on my children and their happiness and well-being.

6/23/06
colleen Kisel
Oak Forest, IL

As a mother of a son who survived childhood cancer it was hard to believe that a mother could not or would not be by her dying son's side during his last days. I found it very distrubing that the hospital staff had to come up with a plan to get mom to be with her son.

6/23/06
Angel M. Brown
Stone Mountain, GA

I am still in awe at how beautifully the film was put together. I feel like I know all of the families personally. I felt their pains, their joys and I felt sorrow when a child passed on. I cried. I cried. I cried. I am so happy for the survivors, that they are still going strong. Please know that we care about you and still care about the surviving families of those precious Angels gone on to be with the Lord. One thing is certain, none of those children, (Alex, Tim or Justin) are suffering again and that is most important. PBS, please show this again because our society doesn't want you to "Feel" anymore. Our society wants you to just become numb and that's not human nature. Your documentaries are the best and I will continue to watch them. Please let the families know that they are and will always be in our prayers, because you cannot watch a film like this and ever be the same again.

6/23/06
Antoinette Davis
Cincinnati, OH

I watched this documentary, and there are no words that come to me right now. I hear people talk about courage, but rarely have I seen it on display like I saw it in this program. I don't know how these little kids looked death in the face and still found the guts to keep on fighting even when their prognosis was bleak. To fight when you know you may not make it is touching to me. To see how much the kids wanted to live...I have no words. I cheered when the kids caught a break, and cried when things didn't go well. This is a must see documentary. I've thought of nothing since I watched last night. Thanks to the families who let us take a look into their lives. You were all very inspiring, and you have NOTHING to feel guilty about. Each of you did what you thought was best for your children. What else can anyone ask but the best that you can give? God bless you all.

6/23/06
Marion Letterie

Thank you for this wonderful film...I so wanted to reach out to Alex's father and tell him that he should have no regrets because he would not and could not give up...instead he should find solace in knowing that Alex flourished as a person because of his (and her mother's) unrelenting and unconditional love.

6/23/06
Elisha Ann Sedillo
Wichita, Ks

I caught the last half of the program on Wednesday June 22 and I watched most all of the program on Thurday June 23. I can't even begin to imagine losing a child. I have known people who have lost their children, and I have also lost friends and family members to cancer. I have a pet cat that was just diagnosed with cancer. I felt so sorry for myself until I watched this program, and I saw how the parents remained so strong throughout it all, even after some of the children lost the battle with cancer. It made me think that if the parents of the children who have passed on can go on after losing their child, as difficult as it may be, I can go on to, and I am strong enugh to make it through anything. I was especially moved by Tim's story. I loved his Mom's strength, courage, and most of all her faith in the Lord. I was rooting for Tim. He seemed like such a loving person. I wept when I saw that he passed away. I have clinical depression, and even though sometimes he put on a brave face, on some shots of him, I could see how depressed he was. My heart just went out to him. I wanted to reach through the television screen and hug him and tell him everything will be okay. But, Tim is okay now. He is in the loving presence of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. My prayers are with all of the families on this program and the children, as well as anyone and everyone out there who is suffering with a terminal illness. God bless you all.

6/23/06
Kelli Parker
Kansas City, MO

Thank you for doing this series. I applaud your efforts to raise awareness of childhood cancer by allowing these families to share their stories. I was not only touched by the patients and their families, but also the staff that cared for them. I see the compassion of pediatric oncology staff every day on my job, and it never ceases to amaze me. I hope the series will be aired again and that you will explore the possibility of using families from different areas of the country. The film was wonderfully done. Thank you again!

6/23/06
Francine Bailey
College Park, Georgia

1) That wealth and having finances-money played some very important issues,if Tim's mother had funds to pay for baby Tyreek's care during the day and had her own car or transportation she wouldn't have to be seperated from Tim as he was dying and could spend quality time with her dying son. I saw fear and felt Tim's lonliness while he was consious and able to communicate but had not one family member at his bedside.
2)I felt uplifted when Alex's white count improved I really thought she was going to survive.
3) Doctors don't know it all life is not over until God says it's over Justin beat all the odds to live from day one and baffled the MD's to his survival.
I learned that if a child is not going to survive then while physically able a child should be allowed to travel enjoy a trip of a lifetime before they die. Once therapy starts they are medically to weak and vulnerable and unable to travel. Children once diagnosed should have family portraits taken because the illness can disfigure like angel Alex's face. Tim's desire was he wanted to go to Disney World. It broke my heart they took him to cold Chicago and his last wishes were not fulfilled and this is where the answer to question number one is answered about the different backgrounds of the five families in the film revealed the difference between being rich and poor and the low income opposed to middle income. If Justin or Alex were physically able to travel their families were financially able to pay for a trip opposed to Tim who was physically able to travel but his family was to poor to finance a vacation Disney World trip. I enjoyed the documentary I stumbled on the show which was already in progress of part one so I look forward to seeing the repeat. I cried for 2 hours after the show ended. I think Tim and Alex's death affected me most. I wanted Justin to recover but his young body was so tired I wanted peace for him he wasn't living there was no quality of life left the disease and chemo took it's toll. RIP Justin, Alex, and Tim no more pain and Congratulations to Jen and AL and to all the families thank you for sharing such personal pain staking losses this will help people generously donate to find a cure I know I am going to donate and would even like to volunteer. May God continue to bless you all and give you strength to go on my family was able to several years ago we lost my 11 year old neice Nichelle to lung cancer at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in NYC so I feel all your losses and pain.

6/23/06
Mattawamkeag, Maine

Thank you for airing "A Lion in the House." I'm a better person for watching.
All stories were pwerful, but I was especially taken with Tim's story. When the film showed Tim working the window at a McDonalds I thouoght Tim had beaten the disease. He looked so confident and proud: he had the world just where he wanted it.
While Tim's death didn't loosen my faith in a traditional God, for I have none, his innate genius to affirm life has shown me our species. at its best.

6/23/06
Richmon Virginia

I knew when I first saw the preview for this touching and dignified documentary that I would have to watch it. I eagerly and fearfully awaited the second segment, knowing that some of these wonderful young people might not make it.

These two nights were very humbling and spiritual.

As an outside stranger looking in, I was so hurt by the deaths of Justin, Alex and Tim. Yet I am rejoiceful for the survivors, Al and Jen.

I was frustrated and angry by the lack of services available to people with limited resources, i.e. Tim's mom having to deal with social services and just as angry at Al's mom's place of employment for not being understanding and assisting. As for the parents who have had to make hard decisions as to when to let go, I think we all know that you did what you thought was best in a bad situation. No one is perfect. As parents you are a vessel for your child's life. No one wants to be that vessel for their child's death. You love your child and want what is best and your child knows this. No mistakes were made.

I can't express my many thanks to these young people, their families, friends, caregivers and film crew. Viewing this document was a gift of life from everyone who was a part of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing these life stories and for enriching my life. May all your lives continued to be blessed. Good health to all.

Dear Julia, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Top