New Film Pays Tribute to 13-year-old’s Story of Hope in the Face of a Fight Against Cancer
I am Second film shows a community transformed by the life & faith of a boy who lost his battle with stage-4 Neuroblastoma
DALLAS, Texas, October 28, 2014 – “Many are the Wonders, The Second Story of Ethan Hallmark,” launches nationwide today on iamsecond.com, just a few weeks after the passing of a 13-year-old teen who suffered from a rare type of childhood cancer.
The 45-minute documentary-style film captures a unique glimpse into the lives of Ethan Hallmark, his family and their entire community of Midlothian, a city near Dallas, Texas, as they face and overcome the darkest moments of the disease together with a united and inspirational hope.
Four years ago, Ethan was just another kid baseball player with the dream of being a doctor. Since his diagnosis of stage-4 Neuroblastoma, he became an involuntary hero who demonstrated to his family, friends and community how to live life to the fullest and projected a hope that far outweighed his diagnosis.
As the film showcases, this courage and hope did not come without an internal struggle and asking the hard questions of why such things happen. The film gives a unique view into the internal thoughts of Ethan’s parents and his community coming to terms with the disease that was slowly taking away their hero.
“You have these moments where you ask God, ‘Why? Why my son? How can a loving and omnipotent God allow a kid who is nine years old go through this suffering?’” said Matt Hallmark, Ethan’s father. “God answered me in that moment. It was a moment that was crystal clear.“
Ethan’s courage and unconventional perspective through the film shows a child with wisdom beyond his years. This has become a source of inspiration to others nationwide through the Ethan Hallmark Facebook page (http://on.fb.me/1oQJAdc), where individuals who are struggling in their own way are finding hope beyond their circumstances.
“Even though my cancer’s been a lot of bad stuff. It’s been a lot of good stuff, too,” said Ethan in the film. “I met friends I would have never met. I’ve grown closer to God; my family has. I wouldn’t trade my relationship with God for anything.”
Ethan’s mother, Rachel Hallmark, has also chronicled part of the family’s struggle in an online blog, http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ethanhallmark. Her most recent post addressed dying with dignity in response to the discussion happening over the last few weeks surrounding the announcement of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard’s decision to die Nov. 1.
“My son said, ‘I know I’m in a lot of darkness right now but I’ve come to learn that with the greatest amount of darkness, just the smallest amount of light will overcome it,’” said Rachel Hallmark, Ethan’s mom.
Rachel Hallmark says the response from the Midlothian community over the past few years is beyond anything they ever dreamed.
“The life they are living is the anti-American dream in that the Hallmark family is thriving in the midst of this unbelievable suffering,” said Jeff Thompson, youth pastor at Midlothian Bible Church. “You look at the divorce rate in families of cancer, and it’s astronomically high. This is a disease that destroys people. Not only the individuals that have cancer but the families that deal with cancer, because it’s such a horrendous disease.
“But in a crazy way, they are thriving in this,” Thompson continued. “The love that they have for each other and the way this family has bonded and rallied around each other is not only counter-cultural, it’s counter-intuitive.
In September, Ethan’s family and friends in Midlothian helped raise $40,000 in less than a week through a crowd-funding campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/many-are-the-wonders—2) to help offset the production costs for this film and help spread Ethan’s story globally.
“Ethan’s story is bigger than one boy,” said John Humphrey from I am Second. “It’s a story about a family and a community intertwined in something larger than life. This is a journey to which many will be able to relate.”
“Many are the Wonders, The Second Story of Ethan Hallmark” is available to watch now at http://www.iamsecond.com/ethanhallmark.
I am Second is a storytelling movement that intimately reveals the raw struggles, transformations, and triumphs of people from all walks of life. As the creator of over 100 films since 2008, I Am Second has impacted millions of people around the world through authentic stories well told. The website iamsecond.com and its Spanish counterpart yosoysegundo.com feature stories of hope and transformation.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Embeddable video clips of “Many are the Wonders” are available at http://alarryross.com/newsroom/i-am-second-newsroom-home/media-clips/.
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
A. Larry Ross Communications
Kristin Cole, 972-267-1111