The AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) Child Life Specialist, Kara Noskoff and 12 of her patients from CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) recently attended a screening of Cancer Rebellion at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Presented by Teen Cancer America and film Director/Producer Hernan Barangan, who himself a cancer survivor.
“This was especially meaningful for me as I was able to attend with my patients from CHOC Children’s,” said Kara. “Working with adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology patients the past few years has opened my eyes to their experience battling cancer as a young person and I am passionate about advocating for better care and resources for this population.”
After the film was finished, young people from the crowd had time to ask several questions. One of them specifically asked, “what made you want to make this movie?”
“When I was in the hospital, looking at colleges and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, this movie was that,” said Hernan. “I came up with the concept that when I grow up, I can tell the stories of the kids that I was in the hospital with.”
I was hopeful that this film would accurately communicate the AYA story and it truly exceeded my expectations. -Kara Noskoff
“Creating this documentary and allowing these young people to share their story and the truth about teens with cancer will hopefully lead to improved outcomes and better support and treatment for these young people,” said Kara. “I have personally witnessed the importance of reminding AYAs that they aren’t alone and this film will provide that comfort to patients that may be feeling isolated.”
The AYA patients and siblings from CHOC meet a couple times a month to provide peer support, education and build their community with people that get it. After watching Cancer Rebellion, many of the young survivors said that they felt ’empowered’ even days after watching the film, knowing that they aren’t alone.
“I can’t wait to see how this film takes off and impacts health professionals, community organizations, and families all over the world. Hernan did an incredible job honoring these patients and shared their story in a beautiful, yet honest way,” said Kara. “I hope that when people watch this film, they feel inspired to join Teen Cancer America’s effort to provide better care for AYAs impacted by cancer through support, resources and comprehensive programs and spaces specific to this population.”
We would like to thank Hernan Barangan, Director and Producer of Cancer Rebellion; Kara Noskoff, AYA Child Life Specialist at CHOC; TCA Advisory Council Member, Jamie and Amy Siegel; Audrey Kolina, Senior Producer of the Today Show — NBC News; and Cancer Kinship Executive Director, Yolanda Origel for attending the premier.