I once read that love weaves us together...into each other's story. It was through love that Rob learned about Kate Carter, the founder of Life Chronicles. Rob first experienced respiratory distress in May 2015 after cutting grass. Shortness of breath landed him in the ER with the first of three pleural effusions he would experience over the course of six months. Rob was 32 years old. He was young, healthy, hardworking, and very active. He and wife Amy were about to enter their sixth year of marriage. They had two small daughters. By October 2015, Rob's symptoms had worsened and doctors discovered he was suffering from cardiac angiosarcoma, a very rare form of cancer that rises up from the heart muscle. And so the journey began. Rob traveled from Dubuque, Iowa to Houston, Texas every six weeks for two years for chemotherapy treatments, scans and doctor appointments. During that time Rob met a lot of people. One person in particular stood out from the rest. A young man named Joshua, who also lives in Dubuque, told Rob about Kate and Life Chronicles. Josh's young wife suffered from cancer. Kate had flown to Dubuque to film Josh and his wife Samantha, along with their two small children before Samantha died. Joshua strongly encouraged Rob to call Kate. He told Rob he would never regret it. Love was weaving their stories together. On January 23, 2018, Rob was diagnosed with right heart failure. Not long afterwards, Kate and Rob connected and made a plan. On February 2nd I drove to the Cedar Rapids, Iowa airport from Madison, Wisconsin to drive Kate to Rob and Amy's house. February 2nd was a very long day for Kate. She departed from CA early that morning. She was supposed to arrive in Iowa at 3:45 p.m, but due to mechanical and other delays, her plane didn't arrive in Iowa until 9:30 p.m. Poor Kate then had to hop in my car for a 90 minute ride to Rob and Amy's house. As I waited for Kate at the airport terminal I envisioned meeting a very tired, perhaps grumpy woman exiting the plane. I couldn't have been more wrong. The woman I greeted may have been dog-tired, but she was anything but grumpy. Kate and I greeted each other with warm smiles and hugs and our friendship only grew deeper during our brief time together. Only minutes into the relationship, love was weaving us together. When we arrived in Dubuque, Kate warmed to Rob's family as though they'd know each other for years. The little girls fell in love with Kate. They laughed and giggled. Love was weaving them together. Filming was incredible! Kate's expertise and compassion blew me away. I had no doubt that what was happening in front of me was truly a gift of love...flowing from a place of love deep inside Kate. As I observed Kate working with my little family, it was obvious she wasn't performing a job or task, she was unleashing her passion and love for people and their stories. Rob expressed feeling incredibly thankful for Kate's visit. He described Kate as genuine and kind. During the recording sessions Rob was able to say all the things he wanted to say to his wife and little girls. Twenty years from now when Stella (7) and Sophia (4) are young women, they will watch the interviews and know without a doubt that they were cherished and deeply loved by their daddy. Kate truly is a passionate and skilled weaver of stories and love.
I had the honor of working with LIfeChronicles when my close friend was dying of colon cancer. I will never forget how quickly Kate came out to film Chris's story. Listening to Chris open up to Kate was so rewarding. Knowing that her children would have the gift of her story and her voice when she was gone made some of the pain a bit less. Thank you for your care in handling Chris's story.
Kate and the whole team at LifeChronicles are amazing people. My healthy 70 year old father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma. When I found out about LifeChronicles, Father's Day was just around the corner. Kate worked with my siblings and I (and our crazy schedules) to arrange for a taping on Father's Day weekend. And we are so thankful that we made that happen. My father sadly lost his fight a few months after the taping. But we have this amazing gift- thanks to Kate and her team- of seeing him, hearing his voice and laugh, watching him interact with his grandchildren who are too young to remember him. We have something to pass down to all family members that will forever keep his spirit alive. Kate is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met and the work she does is truly impactful. I believe my LifeChronicles experience helped each of our family members be able to tell my father everything he already knew- and more. It also gave my father a huge sense of accomplishment as he explained his whole life to us, from childhood, to parents, through the navy, young memories of us children, our favorite memories...all on tape for us to view and share.
Kate- my siblings and I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done. We wish you and LifeChronicles all the best as you continue your most amazing work.
LifeChronicles is an amazing organization, perfectly fitting the needs of grieving families all over the U.S. Kate and her staff, from the personal interview to the final video product, showed such care and patience with my 86-year old mother and her 90-year-old brother. The interview allowed the family to learn more about their childhoods and their philosophies. Not only do we now have that information, but we have, forever recorded, their loving interaction, laughs and gestures. Thank you so much, LifeChronicles. Cindy
When I was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I was very apprehensive about any legacy planning, but as the father of 3.5 and 1.5 year old girls, I knew it was something I had to do. Kate and her team were referred to us by the social workers at Dana Farber Cancer Center. From the moment I first spoke with her, she really eased my concerns about the whole process, reassured me that I was doing the right thing, and gave my wife and I a very good overview of the whole process. She came today to interview me and my family and friends, and after she left we all commented on how it was not sad or depressing at all, but affirming of the life I've led, the life I hope to lead, and the life my wife and children will lead after I die. Words really cannot express how much of a comfort this was to me, and also just how incredibly professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate Kate was.
I cannot thank Kate Cater and everyone involved with Life Chronicles enough.She came out to my house and was able to create an amazing video for us. My wife was in the final stages of her fight with brain cancer. The way she interviewed the family and captured that day will never be forgotten. Thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart.
In 2002 I had the great pleasure of meeting Kate Carter. For the next 10 years I had the privilege to work with Life Chronicles by referring families with a child battling cancer to the amazing services they offer. Never did I once think that I would ever be placed in a position where I would use Life Chronicales in my own personal life. In October 2015 that changed. My dad was diagnosed with terminal, Stage 4 Neuroendocrine cancer. After the reality of my dads diagnoses set in I immediately called Kate and asked her to do a video for my family. I explained the process to my parents and they loved the idea. We were set. Kate came to their home in LA and taped my father with both my kids, my mom, my husband and myself. There are not enough words to describe what this video means to us. My parents watched it together many times before my dad passed five months after his diagnoses. I watched it after he passed. Seeing my dad, hearing his voice, listening to his laugh and knowing I will always be able to see and hear him have brought me so much comfort. When the memory of my dad passes my children will now alway remember how their grandfather looked and sounded before he got sick thanks to Life Chronicles. I am grateful beyond words for the service they provide. They are keeping memories alive and close to the heart of loved ones.
My friends Pete and Linda (not their real names) were dealing with Pete battling cancer. I told them about Life Chronicles and they were a bit leery of having a video done. What would they say? How awkward would it be? His voice was changed due to the cancer...maybe they should wait to do the video until "later". They decided to go ahead and do it, after talking with Kate at Life Chronicles. Kate came to their home in the Los Angeles area and spent several hours with them. They put together a beautiful video of all the responses of Pete, Linda, and their kids. Fast forward 8 months. The unthinkable has happened. Pete just passed away due to the cancer. His memorial service will be on Monday of next week. Linda is using three brief segments of the video that Kate made. This will be such a reminder of Pete's humor and his wonderful way of relating to people. We will all be so blessed to have this reminder of this man we love. Oh yes...one segment is of how thankful he is to his parents. (They are in their 90's and are having a very hard time with his death.) They were shown this segment and it is helping them to deal with his untimely death.
If you're thinking of making such a video...just DO IT! Pete, Linda and their family couldn't be more thankful that they did!
Our family has had the wonderful exposure to Life Chronicles through the taping of my sister (for her 80th birthday celebration!) and mys ister in law (age 87 - for a family reunion). We found every aspect of the experience to go beyond our fondest hopes and dreams. Both older women were hesitant at first... yet, within minutes, Kate and her crew had them totally relaxed, confident, even eager to share their lives' experiences. Having DVDs made was also a positive experience. Oscar was patient, extremely competent, and we were not easy! Through countless moves, my sister was pretty much "pictureless.". After a desperate call to family members we were able to collect enough images to augment the DVD. Because they came in in dribbles, Oscar sat with me on eight occasions... never complaining, always agreeable to yet another addition. He is a honey! I cannot recommend them highly enough.
A year before our daughter died of cancer, Life Chronicles came and interviewed Terri and made a DVD which they gave to her husband when she died. The night before her funeral, David played the DVD for all the family - and it turned out to be a first step in healing, for seeing and hearing Terri allowed almost everyone to share a special memory, have a cry, laugh a little... Then when my husband and I celebrated our 50th Anniversary, David arranged to play the DVD that Terri addressed to us, her parents. So while she wasn't with us in person, this wonderful recording allowed us once again to see her and hear her voice. Now Terri has a 1-year old granddaughter - and one thing Terri had said as to why she wanted to make the DVD was that someday she wanted her grandchildren to know who Terri Gray was. And now little Felicity will be able to when she is older.
I so appreciate this wonderful ministry and the caring people, especially Kate Carter, who travel all over to help families during the worst of times. Thank you Life Chronicles.
What Kate and her team do is provide healing, comfort and strength in an area that we all need, but few want to discuss, or know how to deal with, death. She is a beautiful example of strength, compassion and conviction in her mission for all of us to keep the beautiful memory alive of those we love.
In February of 2011 my late wife Rachel was diagnosed with AML. Rachel reached out to Kate to inquire about LifeChronicles service. Kate happened to be "near town" that day and made a special trip to meet Rachel at our home and film her (she even postponed a flight). The service that Kate and team provides is priceless. I have two young children and can not wait to share the video of their mother's story with them in her own voice. Thank you Kate for your compassion and the tremendous service you provide to families who are losing a loved one.
As a vlounteer with Life Chronicles I’v enjoyed, and learned something different on every assist I made with Kate Carter. Kate and her staff are prompt to respond to an immediate need and for the life of me I really don’t know how she does what she does, expect to say this is Kate’s “life’s work “ and it is from her heart. I might have been the elder of volunteers for Life Chronicles as I started around 60 yrs old. I had to let go of that volunteer work because of health problems that I now face. I have been diagnosed with a rare brain disease that there is no cure and now almost 64 years old was to call first on the list is my friend Kate Carter !
I am certain that Life Chronicles will not disappoint you and will excel beyond your wildest expectations from Kate Carter.....Thank you again Kate for the work you do for so many! God Bless You!
The service and final product that Kate and her staff provide is invaluable. It's worth noting that Kate made it all very comfortable. On our recording day, Kate immediately set an easy-going tone, allowing my wife and I to express ourselves freely while on camera.
I am forever grateful to Kate and her team for this gift.
Kate and her team taped my father in 2005, about three months before he passed. It has always been a source of comfort for my mom and our family because it just shows daddy talking about his life and captures the essence of his personality. Fast forward to 2014, I just called my mom to see how her Thanksgiving was. Mom has spent the last few winters in Baja, has made all new friends who know us but had never met my dad. Mom had a great Thanksgiving, she said that she shared her video of Daddy all afternoon. She was showing it to one person, then someone else came by and she would share it with them . It was so enjoyable and she had so much fun, it was like she was introducing him to all her friends down there. I think they all enjoyed it also, they were able to see the resemblance between me and my dad, and my other siblings they have met. They caught the little things I his talk, his beliefs, his character, his essence that made us the people they all know today.
I will always be thankful we talked my dad into doing this taping. He was reluctant at first but the team from Life Chronicles are such professionals and so good with just getting them to talk about what they want to say. Now we have a legacy to pass on to our children and grandchildren so they know who he was and why we are.
Cyndi Davis Connolly, proud daughter of Kenneth A. Davis 1933-2005
I came across Life Chronicles by chance through a medical support site called "Smart Patient." I had thought about telling my story in a way that would benefit my family, partner, and others but I did not know how to exactly go about it. Then, to my surprise, as I was going through some of the threads, I came across a couple that expressed their deepest feelings of what they were going through medically and mentioned what an incredible experience it was to have told their story through Life Chronicles. I immediately got on the website and without any hesitation I made the call and spoke to Mary, Kate Carter's assistant. Mary was extremely comforting and kind on the phone that without any further delay we scheduled Kate's trip to Connecticut, for a visit. I did not know what to expect, but as soon as we started videotaping, I felt at ease instantly. As I was telling my story, Kate was asking me questions relating to my upbringing, family, illnesses, partner, struggles and so on. Before I knew it an hour had passed by and the videotaping was over. Kate could have not been more professional, kind, and compassionate. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to share my life story in this manner and at this time in my life. I am happy that I am able to share my life story with others and who can possibly benefit from my experiences. I recommend Life Chronicles to everyone who want to chronicle their life story. Their work is truly a gift! -Natacha- Ridgefield, CT
Kate came to Boston to film my husband, me, and our children on October 31. My husband has advanced Stage 4 colon cancer and has been given 2-3 months to live. Through Kate's filming my husband was able to ell the children about himself and his love for them. This is a true gift for life for them. This was all done at no cost to us. I have never had such a fantastic experience as this one. This is a non profit that truly does what it says it does. More people need to know about LifeChronicles and the great work that Kate and her team do for people.
Kate and her team taped my Mom and I in 2004, 2 months before my Mom passed. I had always wanted to do this and thought it was too late as she was in the end stages of dementia. We went ahead, and I am so glad we did. Our video is a treasured gift that we now have of our Mom. For a number of years I watched it faithfully every year on her birthday after she passed, but I had skipped a few years lately. I just watched it again tonight and cried tears of joy throughout it. It was like I had a warm visit with my Mom this evening. Thank you Life Chronicles for this 'visit' with my Mom, and for the amazing work you do.
Thank you for flying to the Midwest to interview our family during a critical time in my husband's cancer treatment. The cold and snow here did not keep you from warming our hearts that we opened up to share stories about our life with Greg. You came to Minnesota on short notice and let us know we did not need to prepare for our time of storytelling. You gently entered our home and soon had us talking about life in specifics and general. We have taken so many pictures from over the years. However, we have had nothing like this DVD with our voices and expressions that say tell so much. I watched the DVD today. It was so wonderful I had to remind myself to breathe! Greg and I, and our kids and grandkids will cherish our DVD forever. Thank you again.
My daughter and I both decided to volunteer with LifeChronicles as a bonding experience. What we witnessed through many tapings was so much more than we ever expected. Kate and her staff have the process down, it is sacred work. LifeChronicles opened a dialogue between my daughter and myself that I didn't think was possible.