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  The Astronaut's Secret (documentary by Zach Jankovic about Rich Clifford)

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Author Topic:   The Astronaut's Secret (documentary by Zach Jankovic about Rich Clifford)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29436
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-07-2011 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kickstarter project
The Astronaut's Secret
Documentary by Zach Jankovic

"The Astronaut's Secret" will be a 30 minute documentary about the life of astronaut Rich Clifford. It will uncover how he and NASA kept his Parkinson's Disease a secret for 17 years, explore the impact of the end of the shuttle program on Rich's life, and follow him as he speaks nationwide about the importance of early detection of Parkinson's Disease.

Why are you doing this project?

This project came to me by way of my dad, Dr. Joseph Jankovic. He's the neurologist that diagnosed Rich back in 1994 and has been crucial in Rich's decision to go public about his disease.

When I was young I would see my dad's patient videos and developed an interest in Parkinson's Disease at a young age. However, I followed my passion for film and studied documentary filmmaking at The University of Colorado at Boulder.

Growing up in Houston, TX, NASA Astronauts were always considered the best of the best. So when I heard about Rich's story I knew I had to go after it. I contacted Rich and went to dinner with him and his wife, Nancy. That night I told Rich what I wanted to do, he took a look at Nancy, looked back at me, and said, "You're the man for the job." And we were off and running.

The film also has an official website: TheAstronautsSecret.com

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29436
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-14-2011 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are just three days left to fund The Astronaut's Secret.

The project is just under 40% funded but per Kickstarter rules, they don't receive any of the pledges unless full funding is reached.

Pledges of $25 are awarded with (at least) astronaut Rich Clifford's autographed photo.

Clifford's story was recounted recently in The Telegraph.

Only now, 17 years after diagnosis, is he going public, revealing how NASA helped him to keep the news confidential, encouraged him to keep reaching for the stars despite the disease's onset and even assigned him to a gruelling spacewalk 160 miles above the planet while travelling at 17,500mph.

His decision to finally bring his secret into the open was driven by the realisation that his story can educate others about the disease and inspire fellow Parkinson's patients to think big.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29436
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-12-2011 08:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update from Zach Jankovic, director of "The Astronaut's Secret":
As you know, unfortunately our fundraising campaign on Kickstarter did not reach its goal. So I've decided to launch a new effort on TheAstronautsSecret.com. It will allow people to contribute to the project in return for the same rewards.

On top of that, I was able to find a 501-C3 non-profit fiscal sponsor. That means I can also take tax-deductable donations thanks to The Center for Independent Documentary.

I've partnered with 23andMe, a genetic research company passionate about finding a cure for Parkinson's. They have offered to donate $1 for every "like" they get on Facebook during the fundraising campaign.

Visit TheAstronautsSecret.com for more information. Please help publicize the new effort and reconsider a contribution to the project.

I believe Rich's story can make a lasting impact on the Parkinson's community. I also believe that this film can act as an incredible fundraising tool for Parkinson's research so that one day we can put an end to this disease.

Thank you for your continued support. Please feel free to call or email me anytime with questions, suggestions, or concerns.

p51
Member

Posts: 997
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 12-12-2011 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It’s funny how many astronaut biographies I’ve read that mention other medical secrets they kept, usually between their NASA doctors and the agency. Gene Cernan had a serious knee problem and a prostate issue before going up on Apollo 17.

Most pilots hate flight surgeons because of the old adage that you never leave on better off than you were before you went in; the most you can hope for is to be marked, "OK for flight status" which you probably were already there before you went in.

It seems like NASA flight surgeons were more likely handle issues between them and the crew members without getting the agency involved. This was a good idea of course because otherwise the astronauts wouldn't go to them with minor problems.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 29436
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-16-2014 09:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Houston Area Parkinson Society release
"The Astronaut's Secret" Film Screening

HAPS and honorary chairs President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush invite you to join us on Thursday, April 17th for a special screening of the film by Zach Jankovic, The Astronaut's Secret, at 7:30 p.m. at the Houston Marq'e Stadium 23 & IMAX theater.

This documentary depicts the life of HAPS Board member and astronaut Michael "Rich" Clifford and how he continued his journey through space despite his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Individual tickets will be sold for $50 and will include popcorn, soda and a snack. Will call opens at 6:30pm — please arrive early.

All proceeds of this event will go to HAPS and Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neurology.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Kelly Nicholls at 713-313-1621 or nicholls@hapsonline.org.

All times are CT (US)

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