“Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I would rather not belong to,” said Gilda Radner, a critically acclaimed American comedian who battled ovarian cancer and advocated for cancer awareness during her lifetime. Following her death, a survivor’s community was founded in her honor called “Gilda’s Club.” This non-profit organization is dedicated to those whose lives have been touched by cancer, with chapters located all over the United States.
Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana, located on Baxter Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, offers a comfortable, welcoming space where cancer survivors and their families can find support, community and a variety of programs at no cost to its members. Hatfield Media recently partnered with Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana to produce “Michelle’s Story,” a video testimony of one of the community’s beloved members.
Client: Gilda's Club
When Michelle Mullennex was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, she felt a sense of relief mixed within her grief.
“The not knowing was worse than knowing,” she says.
Although the prognosis of her disease saw cancer spreading to her liver, bones, lymph nodes and beyond, Mullennex says the loneliness she felt was more debilitating than any physical symptom. As an independent person, it had been her habit to spend time alone. However, as her condition worsened, fear gripped her. She realized she didn’t personally know any cancer survivors.
“I needed to meet some real people who actually experienced what I was experiencing,” Mullennex says. This desire for community brought her to Gilda’s Club, where she was shocked to find people not merely surviving, but thriving.
“You can experience deep loneliness,” Mullennex says of her journey battling cancer. “But I know I’m not the only one feeling alone.”
Mullenex says it’s because of Gilda’s Club that she sought proper treatment and care for herself. She considers the club a second home, one that is warm, friendly and welcoming to all.
Laughing Through The Struggle
Because of the personal nature of the testimony, the Hatfield Media video production team created a quiet, respectful space for Mullenex so she would feel comfortable sharing her story. Our team recalls being struck by Mullenex's positivity and warm demeanor.
“When I first met Michelle, I expected to meet someone dour and sad,” says Isaac Harrison, Video Producer at Hatfield Media. “I was pleasantly surprised by her cheerful spirit. She had a lightness about her that I couldn’t have anticipated.”
Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana is a place where people like Michelle can find humor and light in the midst of dark struggles.
“Laughter gives hope,” says Mullenex. “You want to find laughter in your own experience.”
Hatfield Media also collaborated with the comedic hosts of the "Night of a Thousand Laughs" to produce this promotional video, which opened the event's festivities. Check it out:
A Joyful Community
The “Michelle’s Story” testimony video was shown during the club’s 10th annual “Night of A Thousand Laughs” fundraising event in May 2019.
Hatfield Media was honored to tell Michelle’s story. We cherish the relationship we’ve built with the team at Gilda’s Club, and we celebrate the organization’s worthy cause.
“When we work with Hatfield’s video team, we know we’re in good hands,” says Jonathan Raley, the Development Manager for Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana. “They eliminate stress because they’re easy to work with, we can depend on them for creativity, teamwork and – equally as important – deadline awareness.”
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