Monday, December 13, 2010

What They want for Christmas!!

Deborah Ogg and Leslie Bachant emailed me their Christmas wish this year and showed their support for the "All I want for Christmas" Fundraising Campaign.

"It is my Christmas wish for people to understand how powerful the mind can be, particulary when dealing with a life threatening illness. Carl Simonton , an adventurer in the area of psychoneuroimmunology, was a critical, imploring voice acting as a guide to many, including me, exploring the terrain and possibility in this area. It is imperative for the film about Carl's work to be finished because his brilliance would finally be honored. But even more important, there are millions of people who might be exposed to the possibility of the powerful intervention of the mind on the body, of the possibility of control rather than helplessness, of living well again.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for your dedication, love, and hard work. Where can we send the checks!!"

- Deborah Ogg

"Dr. Simonton's work is a rare, comprehensive approach (mind, body & spirit) to dealing with the challenges, and gifts, of a cancer diagnosis. This work taught me how to prioritize what's most important in my life; provided the tools and skills needed to live in peace and joy; and help me create dreams for a happy future. It's made a tremendous difference in the quality of my life, and that of my husband's, who was diagnosed with throat cancer as I was on my 2nd round of chemo. We are happier, healthier and enjoy a calm and peaceful life as a result of this work. My Christmas wish is that this vitally important documentary get finished so that others can experience the powerful benefits of this work and have hope for a fully present life in joy, despite cancer!"

Leslie Bachant
Metastatic Breast Cancer patient

Monday, November 15, 2010

Production is Complete!

Dear Friends,
I apologize for the lull in my blog activity, my last post was in June and it has been an action packed past 5 months, so let me update you. In June I began a documentary filmmaking class at UCLA that ran for 12 weeks, it was a wonderful experience and I met many talented documentarians. In July I got the much anticipated interview with David Spiegel up at Stanford. In August I flew to Montana for my third and final interview with Paul, one of the cancer patients I have been following since 2008. At the end of August I hopped on a plane to see Barbara Andersen at Ohio State to discuss her research with breast cancer patients. In September I spoke with Stephanie Matthews-Simonton at her home in Little Rock, Arkansas to capture the story of how the Simonton Cancer Center got started. At the end of September I flew up to San Francisco to interview Marty Rossman, as well as film my third and final interview with Leslie, another one of the patients I have been following for the past two and a half years. And somehow it is already November. With production seemingly finished I have been hard at work on post production, trying to organize, log and time-code all of the footage (we have about 80 hours). And unfortunately post-production is the most expensive part of this documentary so I am going to be starting a fundraising campaign in the next few weeks, and fight to the finish line!!
Thank you all for your interest and most of all for your support. I will be posting information on the fundraiser in the next few days so please keep checking in!

As I mentioned earlier we have about 80 hours of footage to create a 90 minute movie. That means the majority of this footage might never be seen, so I decided to broadcast little clips from interviews over the past 2 years. I am going to try and do this every week if possible. I am starting it off with Ed Gilbert's interview shot this past May in Texas. Enjoy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We WON Members Choice for Citizens Alternative Media Proposal Contest!!!

We Won the Member's Choice Award!!!! I want to thank everyone who voted and showed their support. The prize for winning is $100 cash and a feature in their newsletter. It might not seem like a lot, but everything helps get us closer to our goal of completing the film and bringing it to as many people as we possibly can. Thank you for voting!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Update

Happy first day of summer everyone! I thought today would be the perfect day for a summer update. So here is our status:
We are looking to finish all interviews by the beginning of fall 2010. Having the projected end so near is a very exciting thought since I have began work on this film in February of 2008. We have about 10 more interviews to get until we can call it a wrap.
We are still trying to fundraiser, and we just applied to our first grant from CAMgrants - visit to check out our written proposal and a quick 2-minute teaser of the documentary. If any of you out there hear of exciting opportunities for grants or donations, please let us know.
Post Production:
Some more exciting news is that I just received my first little bit of "source footage" (footage taken of Dr. Simonton back in the day) from my Uncle Terry. It is an interview for the CBS morning show in 1992. It's pretty amazing and I am so thankful my Uncle retrieved it for me. If any of you out there following this blog have original footage of my Dad, or knows someone who might please contact me, this kind of footage will help this story come to life.

Well that is all for now, I hope you all have a wonderful summer!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Going back to where it all began

So I just got back from Texas where I was filming for two weeks. For those of you who might not know, Texas was the birthplace of the Simonton Cancer Center. I explored much of the giant state, visiting the very first retreat center in Fort Worth Texas, interviewing Dr. Simonton's very first colleagues and patients and discovering what a very special time this was for all involved in the work. Here are a few pictures from the trip, I hope you enjoy.

An old sign we saw on our drive from Dallas to Austin...

With Flint Sparks at his home in Austin
(Flint was one of the very first therapists ever trained by Dr. Simonton)

Chuck Holland in Justin, TX

With Jana Baird and Dottie Bishop
(Dottie has worked for the Simonton Cancer Center for about 40 years!)

From Left: Bill Swenson, Chuck Holland, Jane Hardwick

A big Shout Out to this amazing woman on my right, Jana Baird who dropped everything to make this trip possible, driving me all over Texas making sure I could make it to all of my interviews and opening up her home to me. Thank you JANA!!!! xoxox

All in All an extremely successful trip. About 70% of the way through production, hopefully we can wrap filming in the next 3-4 months!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Successful Fundraiser and Silent Auction

On March 27 The Simonton Documentary teamed up with the Simonton Cancer Center for a fundraiser that would benefit both the cancer counseling center and this independent documentary. The night was a huge success with over 100 guests in attendance and over $4,000 raised!

I would like to thank each and everyone of you who made the effort to come out and support us that night, I was deeply touched by all of the love. I would also like to thank all of the donors who contributed to the silent auction, your generosity has truly made a difference.
Here are a few pictures from the evening.

The silent auction was a big hit, but fortunately enough for you not every item was taken home that night. So I have decided to put the wonderful items that remain on my website for you to bid on. Simply click here and you will be taken directly to the silent auction where you can start your bidding!

I will have these items up and open for bids until 5:00pm on June 1st. The highest bidder on that date will win the item. Every individual who particiaptes will receive an email if they are outbid at any point in time, giving you the option of raising your bid.

Please take a look at the website, and don't be afraid to email me with any questions you might have

Friday, March 19, 2010

Malibu Times Article!!!

Local's documentary raises cancer treatment awareness

Elizabeth Simonton and Dr. O. Carl Simonton in 2007.

By Olivia Damavandi/ Assistant Editor
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 4:02 PM PDT
Malibu native Elizabeth Simonton is filming an independent medical documentary, “The Simonton Documentary,” which takes a critical look at modern oncology and analyzes the role of consciousness in the treatment of cancer.

A fundraising event to benefit the documentary will take place March 27 at Charlie's restaurant, and will include entertainment and a silent auction.

“What motivated me to start this documentary was the subject matter, plain and simple,” Simonton, 24, said. “It is my dream to share with the world the story of this magnificent doctor, my dad, Dr. O. Carl Simonton.”

The idea that emotional and psychological counseling in the treatment of cancer plays a large role in how patients will respond to their experience with the disease was a controversial topic first brought to the public's attention in the 1960s by Dr. Simonton, a radiation oncologist who passed away last year.

Dr. Simonton conducted a four-year study in which he treated 159 cancer patients who were told they had no more than 12 months to live. Patients in this study, versus the control group of patients who received no emotional support, lived an average of twice as long. In addition, 22 percent of those living after the study ended showed no evidence of disease.

In 1981 the American Cancer Society placed Dr. Simonton on their “Quack List” otherwise known as the Unproven Methods List. He is the only board-certified radiation oncologist to ever be placed on this list, and the only person who has ever been removed from it.

The main message to be taken away from this study was that there was hope for patients deemed “terminally ill,” and that a patient could participate in their recovery and possibly influence the course of their disease.

“I have always felt that there was something unjust in the fact that more cancer patients were not informed of their own personal potential to heal or of their ability to actively participate in their health,” Simonton said. “I feel it is irresponsible for an oncologist to tell someone that there is ‘nothing more than can be done for them,' when there is so much that can be done.

I started this documentary with no money, no equipment and no experience, but look how far we have come,” she continued. “I have learned that if you have enough courage and enough conviction, the possibility of all of life's pursuits are truly endless.”

Tickets for the fundraiser, which takes place from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., are $20 (cash and checks only) and will be sold at the door at Charlie's restaurant, 22821 PCH, on March 27. More information can be obtained at www.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Documentary Fundraiser!!!


We are having a FUNDRAISER for the documentary on Saturday March 27, 2010. The event will take place at Charlie's Restaurant in Malibu from 10:30pm- 1:00am.

There will be:
- A sneak-peak of the documentary that is currently in production
- A live DJ
- Complimentary, delicious appetizers provided by Charlie's
- A Silent Auction

Tickets will be sold at the door and cost $20 (cash and check only please). To RSVP to this event please visit our website. By clicking on this link you will be automatically directed to the RSVP page. The event is expected to sell out so please RSVP to reserve your spot TODAY! You can also RSVP to this event on Facebook.

If you are unable to make it on Saturday you can still be a part of the fundraising effort as we accept donations at all times either through mail or PAYPAL. You can even participate in the silent auction online. We will be posting auction items online at for those who would like to be a part of the auction and the event but cannot attend the fundraiser in person.

The Simonton Documentary Fundraiser
Saturday, March 27, 2010
10:30pm - 1:00am
Charlie's Restaurant
22821 Pacific Coast Highway - Malibu CA 90265