My TV debut

I am so excited about this– my work with Consano sparked the interest of a local news channel in Portland, KOIN, and yesterday they aired the story– it’s great!

You can see and read more here: Pediatrician-mom refuses to give in to rare brain tumor. I’ll be honest– I was a little tiny bit dreading hearing my voice on the recording, and seeing myself on camera– in the past I’d been approached a few times by reporters while out and about to get a “person on the street” comment– and I’d always deflect and keep walking by. I have never liked the way I sound or look on film… a bit self-conscious about it all. There’s no re-do, you know? Whatever you look like or say is there for good! And… I feel like these moments are the most awkward for me– seems like being on camera is the best way to guarantee my pants are tucked into my socks, or I have a visible bugger in my nose or something. Not that this ever happened… no it did not.

BUT. Enter brain cancer. Yep– everything has changed, including my desire to be on TV– as you’ve read, one of my main goals is raising awareness, as well as funding for more research. So, when I was introduced to one of the KOIN morning show hosts, Jenny Hansson, she thought my story would fit in one of the segments she does each week called “Positive Vibes,” — and I agreed whole-heartedly. I was nervous– but PUMPED. In order to reach my goals– there isn’t any getting around it– I need to talk about what’s happening, what’s needed, and how we can make it happen.

Before the interview happened, someone asked me if I was nervous about what I was going to say– the funny thing is that the talking expectation was the least nerve-wracking part of the whole thing. Unfortunately over the past few months I’ve become somewhat of an expert on oligos, and certainly on being an oligo patient, and have heard the experts in the field disagree on what my treatment course should be– that’s because the evidence isn’t there one way or another– no one knows for sure what the best thing to do is. This is why we MUST have more research. I could talk about that all day– although we joked that maybe someone should hold up a big cue card behind the camera that said BRAIN CANCER to remind me what the topic at hand was… just in case I forgot.

What took more brain power to prepare was figuring out what to wear on TV. A quick google search told me

-don’t wear white

-don’t wear black

-make sure you are comfortable

-don’t wear anything that has a pattern

-don’t wear anything that might make noises that could be picked up by the microphone.

I mean… after reading these lists it seemed like I had nothing that would solve what seemed to be the biggest word problem I’d done since 5th grade. “You have 9 sweaters and 3 are black and 2 are patterned and — blah blah– what do you wear!?” I definitely didn’t want to be remembered for what I was wearing– I was hoping not to make a faux pas. With the help of one of my dear friends, who has been filmed a few times and so knew the ropes, I finally picked something and went on with it.

What was funny, though, was that Jenny, the news caster, had a patterned skirt and was wearing a white top under a black coat– breaking all these rules! I told her about the online “research” I had done– and she said that the newer cameras they use can handle anything– so those rules online no longer apply! Good to know, should I be on TV again.

Overall, I’d say, that all that worry was for naught– I had a lot of fun doing the interview, and am really thankful to both KOIN and to one of my doctors over at OHSU for participating. I’m not saying I will be trying to do this often, but now I know that if given the opportunity, I’d love to do it again.

Have you been on TV? Give me your best tips!

2 thoughts on “My TV debut

  1. Julie Scholz

    Alex, you were TERRIFIC on camera telling your story. Very natural while speaking and even your walking was dignified! (I had a very short career as a TV news reporter, but had to leave because my normal body language was too animated for the small screen)! I loved the family photos and your Oligo advocacy. We are all so sorry that you are in this position and you are an excellent spokesperson.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s