Living Stories


“I went to see the specialist. I remember going into his office and waiting in one of the rooms. He came in and we talked for a few minutes… he said cancer. I remember that first second. I just looked at him and said, ‘I have to make it through this because I have a two and half year old son.‘”

So begins the story of Anne Shaddick, the single mother who first proposed the idea for Living Stories: a series focusing on six people of different genders and ages, all of whom have been diagnosed with cancer-- and survived.

Each episode profiles a different member of that group. Interviews, photos, and documentary footage, explore their personal experience with cancer: how it first hit, the events that followed, and what life is like today. Intercut are heartfelt discussions with the group on how cancer affects aspects of everyday life like relationships, sexuality and spirituality. They discuss theirs reactions to their diagnosis and the reactions of others. They explore survivors guilt and confront fears of the cancer returning.

For cancer patients and their loved ones, the informational and emotional value of Living Stories is immense. Hearing the stories of survivors can help alleviate the isolation and pain that often accompanies the illness. However, one does not have to have cancer to be engaged by the series: everyone has a friend or family member affected by it, or knows someone who does.

The stories of these six vibrant survivors will strike a universal chord with anyone who has overcome adversity.


6 x 30 minutes


Directors: Stefan Randström and Karen MacKenna
Writers: Karen MacKenna and Stefan Randström
Editor: Mark Stokes
Director of Photography: Jim Borecki
Composer: Russell Walker