‘Children of Disease’ Proves to be a Heartfelt Documentary

by Gordon Shelly

Children of Disease is a feature-length documentary chronicling the challenges families face when a parent is chronically ill.

This documentary tracks the lives of multiple families who live in households with sick parents – telling the story from the perspective of children and families of the chronically ill.  In particular, one person on the journey is the filmmaker herself, Madison VanDerLinde.

At thirteen, VanDerlinde’s father, Ben, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – a form of cancer that starts in the blood cells and spreads to the marrow.  During this time VanDerLinde’s mother, Tina, was also battling diagnoses of her own – both skin cancer and breast cancer.

VanDerLinde and her 17-year-old sister, Jordan, are both Children of Disease, who share the story of growing up in household with a parent suffering from a chronic illness.

Ben also grew up under similar circumstances, who reveals that “every memory I had as a child” revolved around his own mother’s rheumatic arthritis and who needed on-going assistance throughout his childhood.

Ben’s own battle with multiple myeloma, is treatable but incurable, a chronic condition.

VanDerLinde, herself, didn’t realize the impact these circumstances had on her until later in her life when she went to college and was able to reflect on the situation back at home.

After introducing VanDerLinde’s family, Children of Disease continues by sharing the stories of other families and the journey each must undergo, always finding its way back to VanDerLinde’s own family and the filmmaker’s personal journey.

This is a very intimate, emotional, and heartfelt film, clearly close to the creator’s heart and experiences. The stories are sincere and, at times, tear-jerking.   As the movie progresses, the viewer is pulled in further to the life-altering realities for these children and these families.

Children of Disease also puts on display the triumph of spirt and the strength of the human will as we follow along with these families who work together to continue forward no matter what comes their way.

Some of its most powerful moments arrive when VanDerLinde puts herself on camera and shares her own thoughts and experiences and the three-year journey of making Children of Disease.

This is an independent film that tells an important story. VanDerLinde successfully raised more than $55,000 in support of the movie through crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

The official website is https://www.childrenofdisease.com/.