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Hospice of Michigan Documentary to Air on Detroit Public Television Monday, March 23 and Sunday, March 29
Date:3/17/2009

Compelling Film Seeks to Change the Way People Think About End-of-Life

Receives Praise from Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns

DETROIT, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hospice of Michigan, one of the nation's leading non-profit hospice organizations, has produced a documentary film called Except for Six that will be televised on Detroit Public Television on Monday, March 23 from 9 - 10 pm, and on Sunday, March 29 from 4:30 - 5:30 pm. For television channels, see the television listings in local newspapers, or go to dptv.org.

Beginning with a strong desire to illuminate a tough subject -- dying -- and change the way people think about end-of-life, Hospice of Michigan embarked on creating a documentary that would be engaging and honest about one of the most important life passages. Except for Six tells the story of three people who are living with terminal illnesses, shows choices they make, and the individual ways they choose to live out their lives.

The documentary has been previewed by individuals from within the documentary film industry, including award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who said of the film, "This is a heart-felt and important film that takes a subject that most of us would rather ignore and humanizes it. From the dedicated doctors and caregivers to the heroic patients, this is the story of what will happen to all of us."

"Storytelling is the best way to share information and get people to see subjects in new ways," said Dottie Deremo, president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan. "The documentary film, Except for Six, uses humor and emotion to tell the moving stories of three people, and hopefully will get the viewer thinking about a topic they might otherwise avoid. We are very excited that the documentary will be televised on Detroit Public Television, and we hope people will watch."

The film was directed by Matt Burnell, a young filmmaker from Grand Rapids. He and his crew spent many hours with the patients and families whose stories are told in the documentary. Burnell said, "In a very short time, the patients and their families became accustomed to us being there, and we had the privilege of observing this very special time. As a result, we are able to share one of life's most natural events with the audience."

The title of the documentary, Except for Six, has a double meaning. Ron Christie, the 69-year-old man whose story is told in the film, spoke behind-the-scenes about the importance and value he placed on the "six people who carry you to your final resting place." In hospice care, patients are referred to a hospice program when it is believed they have six months or fewer to live.

The film was edited locally by Derek Swanson of Mad River Post in Royal Oak.

Hospice of Michigan is one of the leading non-profit hospice organizations in the country, and the state's largest hospice organization serving more than 900 patients every day. Hospice of Michigan's mission is to care for all who need and seek our care regardless of age, diagnosis, or ability to pay. The documentary film Except for Six is part of a public awareness campaign from Hospice of Michigan called "Have You Had the Talk?" For more information about the campaign, go to haveyouhadthetalk.com. Hospice of Michigan, with headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, and offices located in 17 communities, serves patients and their families in more than 60 counties in the state of Michigan.

    CONTACT: Tracy Lark
    Hospice of Michigan
    313-578-5041
    tlark@hom.org


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SOURCE Hospice of Michigan
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