On the American Cancer Society website, it lists 26 potential side effects that a cancer survivor has to manage with. To Prof. Penelope Klein, the worse part is that she lost control of her life due to cancer. Pain, fatigue, nausea, sleep-deprivation, and other health issues prevented her from living a full life that she had planned for herself. Nevertheless, she doesn’t consider cancer a tribulation but a gift because during the journey of dealing with cancer, she re-affirmed the amazing healing effect of Qigong. As her devotion, she spent mostly her own money and traveled to Canada, Australia, and parts of the U.S. and made a compelling movie “Qigong in Cancer Care”.
Born in 1947, Dr. Klein, PT, EdD, has always been active. While her kids were taking martial arts, she decided to try them herself in 1987. She studied karate then judo, where she holds a black belt and competed internationally as a 3-time World Master’s judo champion. To increase her stamina, she added Tai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong to her practice. She has been studying and teaching Tai Chi and Qigong since 1999 and is also trained in Reiki. Her research on therapeutic applications of Tai Chi/Qigong has been published in leading medical journals. She is Professor Emeritus at D’Youville College, Buffalo, NY and an award-winning videographer.
As a goal-oriented high achiever, Prof. Klein’s life was stressful to say the least. In 2010, she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. Complementary to standard medical management program, she employs Qigong and meditation to manage the ups and downs of symptoms. Little by little, she was able to take her life back. She found a new purpose in life and decided to promote Qigong among the cancer community in a bold way.
According to the US National Cancer Institute, as of January 2016, it is estimated that there were 15.5 million cancer survivors or 4.8% of the population in the United States. The number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by 31%, to 20.3 million, by 2026. According to estimates from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in 2012 there were 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths worldwide. By 2030, it is expected to grow to 21.7 million new cancer cases and 13 million cancer deaths. The future burden will probably be even larger, concluded by the IARC.
In collaboration with other experts, Dr. Klein has conducted a couple of studies regarding the effectiveness of Qigong in dealing with cancer. She acknowledges that there is important research done already. But to make an impact on the general public, it is critical to raise awareness of Qigong. She decided to utilize her knowledge in Qigong and videography to produce a movie that blends science and real life together to tell the true story how Qigong can care for cancer patients.
She invited Dr. Roger Jahnke, OMD and Director of Institute of Integrated Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC), to be the co-producer and expert consult of the movie. As an internationally renowned master, Dr. Jahnke has served as a consultant to hospitals, social service agencies, and corporations and implemented successful Tai Chi/Qigong training programs at VA Hospitals.
Additionally, Dr. Peter Wayne, PhD. and Prof. of Harvard Medical School and author of “Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi’, Byeongsang Oh, PhD and Prof. of University of Sydney, Bill Douglas, Co-founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, Linda Larkey, PhD and Prof. of Arizona State University, Sifu Chris Bouguyon, President of National Qigong Association, Master George Picard, Founder of the Village of Healing & Wellness (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada), Roger Schneider, MD, Qigong Master Daisy Lee, and CJ Rhoades, D.Ed. and Founder of Taijiquan Enthusiasts Organization are expert consultants and provide insightful annotations. Qigong practitioners or cancer survivors shared their personal stories on how Qigong has helped them. Prof. Klein mentioned that even though she was the writer of the movie; in reality, she did not need to tell any of the participants what to say. It is an unscripted documentary. It is genuine and sincere.
Dr. Klein explained that since all the participants are volunteers she did not have to spend any money on that portion of the production. However, the traveling and post-production were costly. She spent a year to film and edit the movie. The result is undeniably a quality movie with conviction. It came out in March this year. It was premiered in Canada and later publicaly screened in Lenox (MA), Grimsby (Canada), St. Catharines (Canada), Buffalo (NY), and Long Beach (NJ). In Nov this year, it will be shown at the International Society for Integrative Oncology 14th Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. This short film has won the prestigious Bronze Telly Award. The Best Shorts Competition awarded it for the categories of “Health/Medicine/Science”, “Women Filmmaker”, and “Editing”. The Global Shorts presented it with an Honorable Mention. Now you can watch this documentary (attached below) in your own home or get a party together and watch it with friends and family and be inspired by it.
Note: Dr. Klein wishes to thank D’Youville College and the many individuals and colleagues who generously contributed to the production of this film.
(Edited by Doc Luecke.)
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