CCSU Film Students Create for Young Cancer Patient


Jessica Courtright of Augusta, Georgia was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma over a year ago.  800 miles away in Connecticut, we heard about her story.    What occurred thereafter became an incredible journey of engagement, hope and action.

Parenting is no easy task.  Ask Rebecca Courtright, whose daughter, Jessica was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.   The diagnosis set off a year of anxiety-filled moments, terrible setbacks and dark days.   Using social media, they requested hope, prayers and (if possible) assistance.  They posted regularly and shared heartbreaking  photographs of Jessica’s struggle with the disease.

800 miles away, Jessica’s images were presented in a 228 basic filmmaking class. There, we discussed ideas for engagement and action.   We connected with friends, associates and asked them to send in messages of hope for Jessica and her family.   The objective was to infuse extreme amounts of kindness and light into the situation.   While we did not know Jessica or her family, the simple act of engaging within this situation inspired so many to participate.

At CCSU, we have a community engagement initiative.  As a film instructor, it is my hope that the films we produce are executed with inspired spirit, good intent, thought and a deep desire to communicate.  In this very basic step, we wanted to let a family know, they were not alone.

The fiscal and emotional toll of pediatric cancer requires the engagement of many.  If you are aware of those effected by this issue in Connecticut, let us know if we can help: CLICK HERE

Posted by: Jeffrey Teitler –  Professor, Central Connecticut State University

Participants include: Central Connecticut State University’s Students and Alumni – Shae Sau, (ESPN)  Sarah Yacavone (Walt Disney World), Amanda Bitgood (WRCH), Brandon Couloute (Choreographer), Nick Trifone, Jensun Yonjan (CCSU Student),  John Sudol (CCSU Track Team)
NBC Connecticut’s Darren Sweeney & Tara Joyce
ESPN’s Prim Siripipat and Randy Scott
Sudor Taino –  Karla Medina/Vibe Tribe
100.5’s Allan Mike and Mary, 96.5’s Damon Scott and Gina
The LDS Church of AZ, Tisha Illingworth, Operation Give Life/Randy Boyer, Beth Naji and many others who engaged, sent in films and used production for good within this critical issue.
For additional information, click Jessica Courtright
Posted by Associate Professor, Jeffrey B. Teitler – Department of Communication – Central Connecticut State University