Patrick Sheridan is the Executive Director and Host of the Emerging Filmmakers Project. He also works with young actors and prepares them for how to act on film. Patrick has also served as a script doctor and done punch up for a number of projects. He’s a prolific, talented and engaged artist.
But his primary job these days is fighting to defeat pancreatic cancer. On June 24 his oncologist gave him 6 months to live. I spoke to Patrick on December 22, a scant two days before what Patrick referred to as “his expiration date.” Gratefully Patrick’s health has been steadily improving, but not without unimaginable struggle, nearly indescribable pain, and endless challenges from every front – be they from from our contemptible health care system, the insanity of winking and nodding to procure alternative treatments that have proven successful, or in battling side effects from the things designed to give him relief.
This is, without a doubt, the rawest episode I’ve ever done. Patrick’s willingness to speak thoroughly candidly about the utterly dehumanizing process of waging war with the dark forces inside your body is both an incredible gift in terms of increasing our empathy for humanity, and brutal and harrowing to listen to.
What’s most striking to me about this episode is what Patrick shares with me about the simultaneous spiritual journey pancreatic cancer has sent him upon. Here’s something Patrick says to me during this week’s chat:
“It’s almost like… you have this physical cancer, but there’s also something not right with your soul. And you can’t really cure the physical cancer until you’ve addressed what’s causing all those things. And it’s a really shitty thing to go through, though I think I’m coming out of it a better person.”
And this, which I wouldn’t call an endorsement of getting pancreatic cancer, but a victory in perspective:
“There has been so much positive that has come out of it, all I have to do is survive to reap the full benefit.”
This is my favorite episode I’ve ever done. And I ask you please to support Patrick as he works to eradicate this from his body once and for all. His treatments are expensive and difficult, and you can help him fund them. Go to the link below and please give what you can.
I’ve donated, and I’m asking you to do the same.
Here’s to a great 2017 for all of us. Thanks for letting Jon of All Trades continue to be a part of your life.