Saturday, 16 August 2014

Spread The Word

I am going to be on TV tomorrow morning. Global TV in Calgary wants to interview me about the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS. It will happen at 9:20 AM, Sunday, August 17th. This is not the first time I have been interviewed regarding the challenges of living with ALS. Last year, when Alberta Health Services decided to eliminate the role of ALS Case Manager, the local CBC affiliate also interviewed me, wanting to know how this loss of service and support might affect my life. Years ago, in an earlier life, I was on radio regularly and interviewed on TV in a number times as well, mostly about finance and politics.

This experience will be new in one respect. In all of my other interviews for TV, they were live and on location. The CBC reporter even came to my apartment to do the interview last year. This is the first time I will be going to the studio, to do an in-studio interview. My first thought, of course, is what will they do with my wheelchair? Their couches and settees are set in well marked, camera perfect positions. I hope they don't ask me to transfer, or if I can stand up and move.

Then there is the whole issue of what to wear. I have been told not to wear green. The backgrounds in most studios are "green screened" with the actual content digitally added. The set's backdrop is simply a green felt mat or other green surface placed where they want to overlay the additional content. So into my wardrobe I go, eliminating all shirts with the least of green in them. I'm also going to try to avoid any tiny stripes or anything that might be too shiny under the TV lights. I wonder what they do when they want to interview someone on St. Patrick's Day?

Of course the biggest single challenge will be getting to the studio on time. I will have to be up before 8:00 AM in order to shower and dress. The studio is about 20 minutes from my apartment and I have to be there 30 minutes before air time. That means leaving my apartment no later than 8:20 AM, not including the time it takes for me to get into my truck and get going. At least the sun will be up, the traffic will be light, and it's summertime, so no snow.

The interview itself will only be 3 minutes. How on earth do I explain what ALS does to me and other PALS in only three minutes? There is the whole Ice Bucket Challenge thing too! I am going to have to stick to the facts on ALS and the Challenge. I want to be sure to get the message out that this is an illness where we have yet to identify the cause, where there are no viable treatments, and where death is a certainty, usually within 3 to 5 years. I also want to let people know that curing ALS will almost certainly lead to treatments and cures for all kinds of neurological disease, things like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Tomorrow, after the broadcast, I will come home and write. I will post a link to the online version of the interview in Facebook and on my blog. Then we can spread this message even more.

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