Gerry Blache - A Wonderful Gift

Gerry Blache was an extraordinary woman, as you will begin to understand from reading her short explanation of how we came to make the film 'A Wonderful Gift' and also from seeing the film itself. 

We made it with the intention that as many people as possible see the film and use it in part or whole for insight, training, comfort or whatever reason has brought you to it. As a resource it is completely free, but we'd like you to make some donation, no matter how large or small, to Macmillan Cancer Support, as they continue to be so fantastic supporting many people through their cancer.

Gerry died on August 18th, 2014.

She leaves a legacy of love, wisdom and inspiration to all of us. Truly, a wonderful gift.

Gerry's story

 This short film was destined to be made. The circumstances of its making were two crucial factors coming together. I had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, a condition which has savaged many families, including my own. The other factor was an email from a dear friend and colleague looking for rehearsal space for a new play she had written about death and dying. I could not offer any rehearsal space but on finding out my news, Debbie and I were resolute, we couldn’t let this coming together go without this becoming an important factor in the life of this cancer within me and her healing after the recent death of her sister. We had worked together on and off in just about every medical school in London (and many beyond) in over three decades. It was fitting that our “gift” was there as a trigger for doctors in training or in specialised oncology practice as well as anyone else touched by cancer and curious as to its meaning in our modern world.  Along with my diagnosis came a deep wish to talk about how I was experiencing the disease process and all that went with it; to talk openly about how it was for this one person and to share some of the frustrations - in my case, for having people tell you that I’m not dealing with the condition in the way the text books suggest one should – and the joys, yes, joys that have come my way through having to face some of the worst possible news one can think of. Hence, the title – 'A Wonderful Gift'. The cancer, despite being hugely unwelcome in my life, was also a gift to me and I hope this film is a gift from the small group of us who made the film, to you.

You may be a doctor or other health professional, someone with cancer or caring for someone with it. You may just be, as I would have been just a few short months away, someone with no first hand, personal experience of having cancer but intrigued as to how it could possibly be construed as a gift in any shape or form. Whoever you are. Enjoy, be touched, cry, laugh and ponder …this is our gift to you. Use it as you will but always remember, there are few “shoulds” – this is a tiny bit of a huge picture, still being painted, which makes up my life while I and those I love and who love me, learn to live that precious life and understand more about the gift of time to ponder on some of the learnings we have when we have been given notice, of death.

                 'A Wonderful Gift'

Chapter 1: People are people are people.

Chapter 2: Getting the bad news - the diagnosis

Chapter 3: Health Professionals - my experience

Chapter 4: Big Days

Chapter 5: Anything else you want to say?