“Seeing the overwhelming global response to the film has been deeply humbling,” Prior said. “It's exciting to now make the film available to people worldwide and to continue using it to change public perceptions about ME/CFS.”
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) March 15, 2016
Emmy Award-winning producer Nicole Castillo and co-director Ryan Prior are pleased to announce the release of their feature-length documentary film, Forgotten Plague.
Hailed a “Must See Documentary” by the Huffington Post, the documentary film tells the story of an afflicted journalist who embarks on a quest to find out why the CDC and medical system have neglected his disease and left millions sidelined from life. Following its premiere at Hollywood’s Chinese Theater, the film has garnered sold out screenings in theaters throughout the United States. It is now available on DVD, iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant Video.
Castillo and Prior embarked on the ambitious nationwide production in 2013, shortly after graduating from the University of Georgia. Prior, who was named a 2014 Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar, got the idea for the film after a series of pieces he wrote for USA Today caught fire.
Forgotten Plague is an investigation into myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome (or ME/CFS), a disease that Stanford geneticist Ron Davis has called “one of the last major diseases that science knows nothing about.” In addition to the film, Castillo and Prior founded the Blue Ribbon Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that hosts a multi-site fellowship program for medical students. The Foundation is seeking $64,000 to bolster its educational initiatives in conjunction with the film. They envision a world in which all medical students are taught about ME/CFS. Currently only about 6% of medical students are fully taught about the disease, according to a study by DePaul University.
"This is the great under-reported medical story of our time,” Prior said.
Castillo and Prior interviewed experts from Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford Universities, as well as journalists published in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. “Seeing the overwhelming global response to the film has been deeply humbling,” Prior said. “It's exciting to now make the film available to people worldwide and to continue using it to change public perceptions about ME/CFS.”
Ryan Prior’s life imploded October 22, 2006 when he was struck down by a disease that dozens of doctors were powerless to diagnose, let alone treat. Against great odds, he becomes a reporter for USA Today and ventures to tell the story of his suffering and improbable recovery. He is shocked that millions globally remain sidelined by the same disease, many bedridden for decades. Forgotten Plague is a journey into the hidden world of myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome). It is a chilling tale of our medical system’s failures in addressing many chronic, complex diseases. Yet it is also a riveting story of science’s remarkable ability to transform medicine and improve human life itself.
One million Americans suffer from ME/CFS. This disease is characterized by profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, pain, and post-exertional malaise. ME/CFS can severely impair patients’ abilities to conduct their normal lives, leaving many homebound or bedridden.