Synopsis: Awaiting the results to see if she has the deadly ovarian cancer gene, first time filmmaker Debora De Napoli shares her personal journey as she starts the charity Life Cycle, an adventure that sends this cubicle-dweller mountain biking up (and falling down) nine harrowing summits in the stunning Rocky Mountains.
PROJECT BACKGROUND and BIO
Debora De Napoli – No Mountain Is Bigger Than Life
2 years ago Debora De Napoli (41) chose to do something very different and significant after learning that she too could carry the same deadly ovarian cancer gene mutation that her sister has, and that her mother passed away from six years ago. She wanted to challenge herself beyond anything she’d done before and in the process raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Debora founded the charity Life Cycle and produced a short documentary film called Life Cycle Project; which documents her personal journey from cubicle-dweller to mountain warrior as she mountain bikes up (and down!) nine harrowing summits across the Canadian Rockies.
Being a first time filmmaker and having only biked recreationally, she was faced with many challenges, though, nothing could begin to compare to the challenges of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
In 2012 Debora received a full scholarship to attend the Banff Adventure Filmmakers Workshop. Her film Life Cycle Project was a Finalist at the 2013 Banff Mountain Film Festival, 2014 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and is currently being screened at Festivals and film competitions around the world. In March she was the featured speaker for FEATCanada (Fascinating Expedition and Adventure Talks) where she shares her personal story, the challenges she faced in being a first-time adventure filmmaker, and her hope that we will no longer ask ourselves: “Where Are The Women?” in mountain films. Her story is to be published later this winter in a book titled “Return To Happiness”.
Debora currently lives in Vancouver, is an ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Canada and continues to grow her charity Life Cycle.
Life Cycle, assists female amateur athletes, like Debora, to embark on their own adventure and healing journey while raising awareness of ovarian cancer.
OVARIAN CANCER STATS
One of the most devastating diagnoses for women is ovarian cancer, a disease that afflicts the female reproductive organs. The disease can strike at any age, but is most commonly identified in women aged 50 or older.
Ovarian cancer is fatal. It is the fifth most fatal cancer among females and the statistics are worrisome: 70% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer die within 5 years. The subtlety of early symptoms means ovarian cancer often goes misdiagnosed… until it’s too late. An effective early detection test doesn’t exist (yet).
When detected early and treated promptly, ovarian cancer has a 90 per cent survival rate. Living with cancer and undergoing treatment can be a frightening experience, but there are resources and support services that can help patients and their loved ones cope during this difficult journey.
Pure Souls Collective: Ian Christie and Josephine Chan
Banff Mountain Film Festival, 2013