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Cancer Survivors Lobby Lifetime TV to Order More of 'Side Order of Life'
Date:3/12/2008

National movement Urges Network to Renew Acclaimed Series

NEW YORK, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Network executives and producers of the popular series "Side Order of Life" are being inundated with calls, blogs, e-mails, faxes and letters by the thousands asking that the series be renewed. These are not just ordinary fans. Many of the people who followed the critically acclaimed show are Cancer survivors who are not used to giving up a fight. What has ignited these fans is that one of the characters, "Vivy" (played by actress Diana-Maria Riva), was diagnosed in the show with Cancer in a way that is not filled with the cliched television stereotypes but with humor, compassion, and even sexiness. Matthew Zachary, founder and director of the "I'm Too Young For This!" Cancer Foundation says, "'Vivy' is the first accurately portrayed, young adult Cancer victim character in television broadcast history. She is setting a precedent that hearkens back to Ellen DeGeneres' openly gay character in the 1990's. Today we can suspend disbelief when watching Sean Hayes on 'Will and Grace' and not question his personal lifestyle and 'Vivy' has the same potential to destigmatize Cancer and bring the message of adult survivorship into millions of households."

"At a time when everybody is doing the Internet, watching DVDs, playing video games, even reading," says Ray Richmond, television critic of the Hollywood Reporter, "it seems almost quaint that such a highly committed grassroots campaign to save a television show might still be successfully mounted and maybe a galvanized group of fans will be able to rescue the Lifetime series."

Leah Shearer, a Rochester, New York teacher, and a Cancer survivor herself, says, "Television is a tremendous tool in this capacity for advocacy and there are people who, because of 'Vivy's' story have reached out to support and resources and realized they are not alone. I hope the Lifetime Network brass is listening."

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SOURCE Matthew Zachary; I'm Too Young For This! CancerFoundation; Leah
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