To All My Friends, I Request Your Help For Andy Whitfield’s Documentary!
On September 11th, 2011 my heart broke. I was sitting at my desk working, and I received a Twitter message that Andy Whitfield had passed away from his battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and I cried. I cried so hard that my co-workers all stared at me, and I got up and went to the bathroom.
Many of you would see this as being “overdramatic” for a fan of the Starz TV Series “Spartacus: Blood & Sand,” but from the night of it’s premiere on television I watched and I was hooked. I fell in love with Andy Whitfield, and as you all know Manu Bennett – and found a unbelievable amount of joy from each episode. I felt it was well done, and rich with history and style, and yes – admittedly, it was full of enough eye candy to give me diabeties. After “Blood & Sand” was over, it was announced that Andy Whitfield would be undergoing treatments for Non-Hodkins Lymphoma, and while those treatments were underway – Starz decided to to a prequel to the series called “Gods of the Arena,” which would give Whitfield time to go through treatment and recover.
I expected victory, as I think many of Andy’s fans did, but that was not the case. During a physical for insurance purposes before the start of the filming for “Vengeance,” it was discovered that Andy’s cancer had returned. Having experienced friends in the past who have had “cancer that has returned,” it isn’t good news to hear – because it returns with it’s own vengeance, and normally the survival rate is much lower.
Now, there is a massive campaign to raise money for a documentary that was filmed during Andy’s fight with Non-Hogkin’s Lymphoma. Andy and his wife, Vashti, let the cameras roll until two weeks before he died in 2011 at the age of 39. Now Oscar-nominated director Lilibet Foster, with money from Kickstarter, is turning the footage into a documentary. The goal for the fundraiser, which runs for another month, is $200,000. Already $176,623 has been pledged. The extra money is needed for additional filming and editing.
“You’ll help us fulfill Andy’s wishes by bringing this story to life, and also shed a light on the need to find cures for cancer so that we can stop losing loved ones to this disease,” says Whitfield’s Spartacus castmate Jai Courtney who played Varro in the “Blood & Sand” series. (Source)
It is the legacy of their father Andy, who died aged 39 last September after an 18-month battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. He left seven-year-old Jesse and four-year-old Indigo with a beautiful image to remember him by. ‘In his final words to them, Andy said he had to go to sleep as his body didn’t work, that he was like a butterfly with broken wings, but he would always be with them, watching over them,’ says Vashti. (Source)
Six weeks after Andy’s last chemotherapy session, a scan showed the cancer had gone. ‘We thought it was a chapter closed,’ says Vashti. Yet not for long. In September 2010, Andy had a routine medical ahead of filming the second series of Spartacus. ‘The scan showed a small inflamed lymph node in his abdominal area,’ says Vashti. That night, ahead of further tests, the couple went out for dinner and afterwards got matching tattoos on their arms reading ‘Be Here Now’ – the title of the documentary.
‘It was our way of saying that whatever happened, we would live in the moment,’ says Vashti. The next day, a biopsy confirmed their worst fears: the cancer was back, and this time the prognosis was much more severe. (Source)
So we go back to that day when I received the Twitter message that Andy Whitfield had passed away, and fans mourned the loss of our beloved Actor, Spartacus, who we had grown to love almost overnight with his amazing performance in the successful Starz series. As I write this, my heart still feels mourning – not only for selfish reasons, but for Andy’s beautiful family who lost a Husband, Father, and a good man – a damn good man – to cancer.
What I am asking for is that you, FANS OF SPARTACUS, and my loving fans and loyal readers take the time to please donate to this movie. It is a story that needs to be told, and is the legacy of a man who worked so hard, achieved so much, and then had it taken away prematurely. His story of his fight against cancer needs to be told, and as of today they are close to their goal, but they need more – much more – to make this movie a reality!
Please help! Please do ME a favor and help! It means everything to me, and I hope that if you are reading this you will donate anything you can – if not for me, then for Andy and his Family.
With Love & Hope,
Jake A. Wheat