I just finished watching a wonderful movie, Living Proof. It originally aired on the Lifetime network in October, 2008 (coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness month).
The movie, starring Harry Connick Jr., is the true story of Dr. Dennis Slamon and his extraordinary efforts to develop and win approval for Herceptin, a revolutionary drug to treat breast cancer. Keep a box of tissues handy for this one…the movie was moving, inspiring, heart-wrenching, and ultimately, filled with hope for the future of breast cancer research. The filmmakers did a great job showing the frustrating bureaucracy that can impede medical research, and the poignant stories that abound as these brave women fight to become part of the clinical studies.
It also gave me a deeper appreciation for the contributions of Lilly Tartikoff, the wife of Brandon Tartikoff who convinced Ron Pearlman (CEO of Revlon) to donate millions of dollars to advance Slamon’s research. Revlon’s contribution was crucial in getting Herceptin developed, something I hadn’t realized before. Makes me want to run out and buy some lipstick right now!
Rent this movie. If you’ve ever been touched by the scourge that is cancer, particularly breast cancer, parts of it may be difficult to watch, but it was absolutely worth viewing. I also have to applaud Bernadette Peters, Regina King, Swoosie Kurtz, Trudie Styler and Angie Harmon for stealing some key scenes in this movie. They all turned in raw, wonderful performances.