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From Despair to Hope, a New World of Treatments

March 28, 2012
By David Welch, President and Senior Producer, M2 MultiMedia Communications

Tonight, Wednesday March 28 at 9:00 EST, a documentary called From Despair to Hope, A New World of Treatments, will be broadcast on WUSA-TV, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.  It is sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

For me, producing this program was a yet another profound reminder of the contributions of biotechnology companies that are helping millions of patients throughout the world live hopeful and healthful lives. The remarkable stories in this program will lift the viewer up and offer great encouragement to those who suffer or who have loved ones afflicted by any number of diseases and conditions. Imagine giving birth to a preemie that arrives 4 months early and weighs only 1.5 lbs. “Baby Hope” and her parents will chronicle their amazing journey and path to what is now a healthy 3-year old girl.  Or how about a young boy, born virtually blind, that is now playing Little League Baseball? Nine-year old Cory and his parents help answer that question as they give us a glimpse into the exciting new world of gene therapy. And then there is Kenya Beatty, a brave mother in Baltimore, MD, who is raising four teenagers, three of whom suffer with painful Sickle Cell Disease. These three compelling stories plus six others comprise the hour long special show. The other story segments include up close looks at patients, doctors, and scientists, all working together to treat breast cancer, kidney cancer, MPS, MS, HIVAIDS, and Diabetes.

Central to the program is the real life presentation of courageous patients.  From the perspective of a lively teenager from Richmond, VA, Kerry Morgan, you learn what it is like to manage Diabetes and gain an insight on the prospects for a future cure.  Alena Galan, a 14 year old girl from New York, lets us feel her unbridled joy for being successfully treated for MPS, a rare enzyme disorder.  And from Lori Lober, a Kansas City businesswoman, the viewer gains a better understanding of what it means to be an 11-year breast cancer survivor.  Just as importantly, the documentary presents expert opinions from the scientists and physicians who are advancing medical treatments at a pace far greater than once even imagined. Hosted by BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood, the program makes a strong case for continued investment in biotechnology innovation and the hope for all of those afflicted with disease, now or in the future.

As always, I wish to thank my wonderful production team, especially Emily Deckelman and Stephen Zuppe, for their commitment, dedication, and creativity.

David Welch is President and Senior Producer at M2 MultiMedia Communications, a Washington-based company specializing science and technology communications.