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The Silence and the Darkness: A GI Joe-style tribute to my son's cancer survival

An amazingly touching video has been making the rounds on Facebook and landed on Larry Hama's fan page yesterday.

The Silence and the Darkness: A GI Joe-style tribute to my son's cancer survival, is a heartwarming video posted on youtube by Paul F. P. & Katrina Pogue. Here's a brief summary of the video, but I would definitely recommend reading the full write up for more information. The voice acting skills of Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis, the original Flint and Lady Jaye, are put to use in the the vid.

Every May I create a movie-poster-style tribute to my son Armand's continued survival in the face of impossible odds. This time around I brought his sister Autumn-Rose into the fold and got ambitious with the above video .

First off, eternal gratitude to Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis, the original Flint and Lady Jaye, who generously donated their time and talent to bring life to a concept that seemed impossible when I came up with it, and delivered narration that succeeded beyond my greatest hopes.

"The Silence and the Darkness" is both appropriate and ironic; it reflects our running inside joke that the kids have one good set of senses between the two of them, and also the fact that despite their challenges, you would almost never tell. He can still hear me whisper "hey, want some ice cream?" across a room (I still have no idea how) and yet sometimes misses stuff that's sitting right in front of him. (The phrase "are we sure it's his ears and not his eyes that are the problem?" is a frequent one in our household.) He may not hear very well and she may not see very well, but they are anything but silent and dark. That's the thing about these kids -- no matter the challenge in front of them, they always seem to find a way to work around it!


Credit: The Pogue Family
Views: 950
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Reply To Article DISCUSSION: (Jump To This Thread On The Boards)
Sergeant Major:
Here's an amazing video.

The Silence and the Darkness: A GI Joe-style tribute to my son's cancer survival - YouTube


Some production notes:

Every May I create a movie-poster-style tribute to my son Armand's continued survival in the face of impossible odds. This time around I brought his sister Autumn-Rose into the fold and got ambitious with the above video .

First off, eternal gratitude to Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis, the original Flint and Lady Jaye, who generously donated their time and talent to bring life to a concept that seemed impossible when I came up with it, and delivered narration that succeeded beyond my greatest hopes.


A few notes on the medical specifics within: Nothing in this video is exaggerated; it reflects the best of our knowledge of their current states, though "the best of my knowledge" would be interpreted as the knowledge of a dedicated amateur at best. Autumn-Rose is fairly seriously vision-impaired; she does, however, get around pretty well with her almost comically oversized glasses. (For those who know such numbers, her spherical rating is +9.75, which is well into the territory of "off-the-charts insane" in my book.)

I don't pretend to understand the science of audiology well enough to give solid numbers on Armand's hearing. What I can say for certain is that he's lost more than half his hearing, maybe two-thirds, and hearing aids restore a significant chunk of it.

You know, all this stuff and I didn't even mention that Armand does all this running, jumping, climbing and riding in ankle-high leg braces and derotational straps all the way up to his waist.

The survival rate circa 2009 for stage-IV neuroblastoma was about 35 percent; it dropped to 8 to 14 percent if you had a number of special circumstances, all of which applied to Armand. He went through a number of clinical trials, including an experimental antibody which worked so well in trials that it quickly became the standard treatment and is expected to nearly double the survival rate to around 65 percent. This is based on the best of my current non-expert understanding of the science, so please don't quote me in your research papers.

I do not exaggerate even slightly about Autumn-Rose and time and space — she's a walking reality distortion field. Sometimes I'll be looking for a lost thing for an hour and she will gingerly pull it out of a spot I KNOW I checked four times. The reason you see her plastic ninja sword in only a few shots is because it vanished from right next to her seat and couldn't be found despite my best efforts. I fully expect her to toddle in carrying it any moment now.

"The Silence and the Darkness" is both appropriate and ironic; it reflects our running inside joke that the kids have one good set of senses between the two of them, and also the fact that despite their challenges, you would almost never tell. He can still hear me whisper "hey, want some ice cream?" across a room (I still have no idea how) and yet sometimes misses stuff that's sitting right in front of him. (The phrase "are we sure it's his ears and not his eyes that are the problem?" is a frequent one in our household.) He may not hear very well and she may not see very well, but they are anything but silent and dark. That's the thing about these kids -- no matter the challenge in front of them, they always seem to find a way to work around it!

Thanks to everyone for all your support.

Paul F. P. Pogue
Katrina Pogue
Armand Pogue
Autumn-Rose Pogue
sbartek1974:
Umm...WOW!

Speechlessness. Encouragement. Humility. Determination. Will to survive my own problems. Lump in my throat. In awe. Teary eyed.

Just a few of the feelings I'm expressing right now.
Sergeant Major:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbartek1974 View Post
Umm...WOW!

Speechlessness. Encouragement. Humility. Determination. Will to survive my own problems. Lump in my throat. In awe. Teary eyed.

Just a few of the feelings I'm expressing right now.

Yes sir, that was me 5 minutes ago. Mr. Pogue seems like an amazing Dad. I hope word of the video is spread far & wide.
Dunedain:
This puts many things in real perspective. We often go about our lives bitching and complaining, and feeling so bad for ourselves. We become so obsessed and beaten by our stupid little problems, and its really ridiculous at the end of the day, especially when you see an example of these 2 children, and what they can and have overcome.

I almost feel ashamed when I think of how "stressful" life can be sometimes, but you truly learn how petty all this bullshit is when we are humbled by the strength, determination, and examples of these kids.

This father should not be sad or angry, he probably feels blessed and gifted, and he is VERY LUCKY to be able to live his life next to these awesome kids and watch what they are going to become in the future.
USAgent:
Now that it is on the front page just have to come back and say how totally awesome this is!
HEAT Viper:
This brought tears to my eyes.

God bless you Pogue family, your children are beautiful and wonderful. I'm going to go give my own boys a hug now. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Beyond inspiring.

Yo Joe.
Darth Awgmon:
Thank you for sharing that with us.
jignacio_2k:
Its always good to see stuff like this. You are an awesome dad. I also know how hard it can get with someone in the family has cancer. My dad passed away about two months ago from cancer. Stay strong and fight on!
kramer70:
I rarely ever post stuff on this site. All I got to say is WOW. Great video and tribute to your awesome kids. I love the codenames. You should be one proud dad.
samantha:
I love you Hun. That was jaw dropping. Those two little kids have one great dad. Purely a master made film by a great Father. I have tears in my eyes right now. Thank you for sharing this.
SNAKE_EYES1975:
Dad of the year.

Bill Ratner and Mary McDonald-Lewis have skyrocketed to "hero" status.

Thanks for Sharing. I lost my dad to leukemia when I was 15, and I made, on my old Commodore 64 a shooter game where "chemo" A ship that destroyed white blood cells flew down arteries. I did that because at the time, we went to a "cancer camp" and there was a story about a kid beating cancer because he "played a video game in his head". Unfortunately my programming skills were not as fast as the disease.

The ambition of this dad has surely helped.

Dad of the year.
Poguesrun:
Just wanted to say thanks for the support and the kind words here. Making this video was an amazing experience; the reaction, even moreso. I'm used to people being amazed by my kids; not so accustomed to people calling me dad of the year . Thanks!

"This father should not be sad or angry, he probably feels blessed and gifted, and he is VERY LUCKY to be able to live his life next to these awesome kids and watch what they are going to become in the future."

This is ENTIRELY true.

Much appreciated,
Paul F. P. Pogue
Poguesrun:
Quote:
Originally Posted by samantha View Post
I love you Hun. That was jaw dropping. Those two little kids have one great dad. Purely a master made film by a great Father. I have tears in my eyes right now. Thank you for sharing this.
Thanks for your words! After living with all this for so long, sometimes even I forget how incredible these two are. It's been very gratifying to see them again through the eyes of so many other people.
orezona:
That was really great.

Your kids are awesome and thank you for sharing this touching tribute with the world.
choopy:
very cool.
A.C.T.:
Just incredible, I'm too emotional to get what i wanna say acrooss....god bless both those adorable kids and props go to some top-notch parents. I wish all the best.

To Flint & Lady Jaye, what a awesome service you provided.
ChevyMel:
Blessed to be able to share in this, now i'll go be teary eyed the rest of the day.....
Steel Brigade:
Great stuff. Really.
joe1974:
I have to say that this is just Beautiful! And I'm so happy to see that they are doing better and that their strength is so inspiring! I lost my one year old granddaughter to cancer this January and it has been probably the hardest thing that I have ever faced in my life. But I know that she had a purpose here and will always be with me! I think you are an AMAZING father and they are some Amazing kids! Keep it up and never stop fighting! My little Hailey didn't! !!!!
wrw311:
It's dads like you that inspire real life heroes. Beautiful family my man.
geo:
May The LORD richly bless you and your beautiful family. From one dad to another, the video brought tears to my eyes and welled up a great deal of compassion and love for you and your family. We live in an imperfect world where crazy things happen beyond our control and yet God is still able to work wonders in our lives, regardless of our circumstances. So may the good Lord do wonders in and through your lives and the lives of your children that will cause all who see it to marvel and know how real God is (John 9:1-3).

God bless you all. (Romans 8:28)
nutcase65:
multiple levels of wow
neapolitan joe:
Amazing work!
Poguesrun:
Thanks for the kind words and support, everyone! The reaction to this has been overwhelming and gratifying, to say the least.
GILTYONE:
Awesome!!!
 

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