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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release
June 10, 2006

Airing Wednesday, June 21 from 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Part I) and Thursday, June 22 from 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Part II) on WTTW11

Chicago, IL - A LION IN THE HOUSE, a riveting documentary on childhood cancer coming to public television stations nationwide this month, is the catalyst for a major outreach campaign to spur a national dialogue about the difficult issues surrounding pediatric cancer. Chicago' pediatric cancer care community is coming together as part of this national effort to save lives and help families battling childhood cancer. The goals of the campaign are to strengthen support systems for families and caregivers and inspire planning and action in local communities and states. The campaign hopes to build bridges between families in need and communities of support by focusing on such critical issues as the healthcare disparities that exist among families with different financial resources, the challenges that face cancer survivors as they struggle to restart their lives after treatment, and the need to enhance resources and support for children and families facing end-of-life issues and bereavement.  Detailed information on the national campaign is available at

"WTTW is excited to have this opportunity to work with  ITVS and Chicago's pediatric cancer care community as part of this national outreach campaign, says Shaunese Teamer, WTTW's Manager of Community Outreach. "It supports our growing community outreach initiative to provide enhanced resources and services to our viewers."

"We want A LION IN THE HOUSE to be a film that has lasting value," says filmmaker Steven Bognar. "We are very grateful for the enthusiastic participation of the professional staff and volunteers of so many organizations that have the expertise and community connections to use this film in ways that can really make a difference in educating and mobilizing the public as well as training and informing healthcare professionals and public policy influentials."

Each year in the United States, approximately 12,500 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer, plunging their families into a world of uncertainty, emotional upheaval and difficult decisions. Filmed over six years, A LION IN THE HOUSE tells the story of five of these American families, offering an intimate look at this life-altering experience in all its complex dimensions. Filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert bring viewers face to face with the challenges of the cancer journey and its rippling effects on family, community and professional caregivers. The four-hour film recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where Newsday film critic Jan Stuart called it "a powerhouse documentary that transfixes viewers for every second." A LION IN THE HOUSE airs Wednesday and Thursday, June 21 and 22 from 9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. on WTTW11.

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and the Lance ArmstrongFoundation, ITVS is working with a committed group of national partners including the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Oncology Nursing Society and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The Intercultural Cancer Council, the Health Ministries Association, an interfaith membership organization, and Los Angeles-based Padres Contra El Cancer, which is oriented toward Latino families, are among the organizations helping the campaign to reach effectively into all communities.

In Chicago, fourteen healthcare organizations have joined together to spearhead local grassroots activities.  Supporting partners are Advocate Hope Children's Hospital, American Cancer Society, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Children's Memorial Hospital, Gilda's Club Chicago, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and University of Illinois at Chicago.  Outreach
partners are Horizon Hospice and Palliative Care, Oncology Nursing Society - Chicago Chapter, Rainbow Hospice, National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service, SuperSibs, and Wellness House.

A specific outreach project, targeting young adult survivors of childhood cancer, has also been launched in conjunction with A LION IN THE HOUSE.  The "Survivor Alert" project, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, will engage and inform young adults of their risks and responsibilities as cancer survivors.  This project's website is With dramatic improvements in the pediatric survival rates over the past decade, many young adult cancer survivors are unaware of important steps they should be taking to monitor their health.


For Additional information, contact:

Shaunese Teamer - WTTW11
(773) 509-5441

Connie Koch - ITVS - Chicago


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