What an awesome service to those with terminal conditions. Cannot say enough about their attention to detail, concern, and going the extra mile. Thank you Life Chronicles‼️
This Memorial day, I want to thank Life Chronicles and Kate Carter SOOOO much for making a wonderful video of my mom! Since I can’t have her here with me (cancer took her), it fills my heart to watch her mannerisms and hear her voice on video! This video is one of the
things I own and I recommend that everyone makes a video now for their loved ones to cherish later, they'll thank you! ❤️
I first spoke to Cate about three months ago. I explained that I had two progressive cancers and 5 members of my immediate family died of cancer. I shared that I wanted my Life Partner and my two adult children to go through this process with me so they would have something to re-experience when I'm gone.
Cate and her team are so accommodating and gentle. It was an amazing experience - I even got to leave a video message for my unborn grandchildren :) And, she is a wonderful and caring facilitator who knows how to bring out the most beautiful moments between loved ones. She truly has a gift and we are honored to have her agree to do this for us.
We cannot recommend LifeChronicles more highly!
Michael Russer & Jacqueline Lopez
Oh my gosh! Thanks to Life Chronicles for helping my wife's mother put her thoughts, feelings, and memories on video. I met my wife 6 years after her mother passed, and listening to her mom brought me closer to my wife and helped me get to know my mother-in-law. I'm so thankful for Life Chronicles and all who support this wonderful Nonprofit.
Our family had always considered hiring a videographer to capture my grandmother's incredible spirit. As she's now 98 we decided it was high time. LifeChronicles was strongly recommended by a colleague who has used their services twice. The recommendation could not have been more accurate. Kate flew to Boston and spent an entire afternoon with my family and I. The best part, Grandma truly enjoyed the experience. We laughed and cried, the experience being together sharing as a family was as valuable as the video itself. We now not only have documentation of these valuable family stories, but also the memory of a moment spent truly together sharing and enjoying our family. Highly recommended!
Recently our mother went in to Hospice care before passing away. Our family had a visit from the people at LifeChronicles who explained that they would like to video our family speaking with our mother. It was the most amazing process to be a part of. They sat in the background while they video taped family members and our mother talking about our memories. I learned so much from the stories; events and milestones that I had forgotten about. It was a process that brought out a lot of tears but was so wonderful. Having the video to watch is so precious and something we will all treasure. Thank-you Kate for this wonderful service!!!!
Kate Carter, founder of LifeChronicles, was invited to my mother's home in 2016 when her 90-year-old brother was visiting to help her celebrate my mother's 86th birthday. Kate interviewed them together. It was a perfect way for our extended families to enjoy their conversations and hear their observations about growing up in Indiana in the 30s and 40s.
Ms. Carter was incredibly attentive and sensitive to their comfort during the session. Questions were crafted in such a professional way that both elders were easily encouraged to share their stories. The two siblings teased each other, contradicted stories, and had a good time correcting memories. It was wonderful. My mother passed away 8 months later. Fortunately, because of the LifeChronicles video, my family now can hear her voice and her laughter whenever we want. Thank you, LifeChronicles. C Miller
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.
Shock and awe. Yes that described my feelings after I watched a Life Chronicle video of someone I thought I knew! I was shocked that this woman had accomplished so much in her shortened life after personal tragedies I was not aware of and in awe of the positive impact she had on numerous human beings with her love of God and human beings from all walks of life. The video is inspirational..
Kate interviewed my mother twice for a total of almost 4 hours. The first time was to record her experiences as a pilot in WWII as a WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots) and the second was to fill out the rest of her life story. She loved being able to tell her stories and I was amazed to hear some I had never heard before. Our whole family is so grateful to have the DVDs of her amazing life story. It is wonderful that my grandchildren, who all knew her during her last few years, will always be able to hear her voice and remember their great-gramma and know about her ground-breaking exploits - priceless.
We gifted our Grandpa a Life Chronicles taping last Christmas. It was by far one of the most special, memorable days of our lives. To have that day taped and stored for our family and our future families... is PRICELESS!!!
As a volunteer as well as a Board Member, I am honored to be associated with this great organization. The videos produced are priceless to the families who have lost loved ones. Being involved with many tapings has been a profound and life-changing experience.
Although I am a board member of LifeChronicles, my experience as a volunteer is what makes me so passionate about this organization. For over a decade, I have volunteered with people who are faced with life-threatening illnesses or are at the end of their lives, but being part of the video tapings has taken me to a new level of compassion and understanding. I am so inspired by how these people respond to their situation with such dignity and grace. Being able to tell their life story and knowing that it will be preserved for future generations is a very healing process for the people who receive this priceless service. I feel so honored to be part of this amazing organization!
I have served on the board of Life Chronicles for about 5 years now. I have had the honor and privilege to assist in numerous taping's. It has been a remarkable and rewarding experience.
I lost my wife Lisa in 1998 to breast cancer, she was only 40. Our children were 6 & 10 at the time. Here it is 2013, they are now 22 & 25. Most of their memories now are supported by photographs. I wish I was able to pop in a DVD and listen to the message Lisa spoke to us before she passed. Only I can remember her voice, laughter, thoughts of the life she wanted for me and all of her family and friends. I would love to hear her voice again and be able to share it with those who loved her too!
On October 13, 2011, my son and his wife Tammy welcomed their second son, Jacob, into the world, joining their 3 year old AJ. Within 1 week of delivery, Tammy was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I needed to find a way her boys would have something to remember her by. Everything I found was not enough...I goggled legacy and LifeChronicles came up. I wrote to Kate that day, and heard from her within hours. It was not easy to try and convince Tammy to do this. We had a date set but then the inevidible happened; over Memorial Day of 2012, she was admitted to hospice. Tammy did not know if she had the strength to do the filming and could not decide. Very late on a Friday night, she agreed saying "I don't want my boys to forget me". I called Kate very late that Friday night, and on Sunday the team arrived. Aimee and Aj arrived on Sunday for 3 hours of filming. Somehow, Tammy mustered the strength to give her children a most wonderful gift, her last gift to them. Tammy passed on June 25, 2012 at the age of 38, eight months after diagnosis; no family history of cancer, pregnancy masking many symptoms, hormones feeding the tumor.
There are not enough words to show our gratitude to all the members of LifeChronicles. These are wonderful, caring and loving volunteers; they are committed to helping those in need at their final hours so those left behind can hold on to loved ones; not just memories but visuals.
I sent LifeChronicles more than the 30-35 pictures they requested, and they used every one. I also sent their wedding video-they married on a beautiful beach in Bermuda, as part of a cruise wedding that 26 of us went on.
Our video is priceless. Life Chronicles provided us with as many copies as We needed. Most importantly, AJ and Jacob have wonderful video of their Mommy, with her life chronicled through pictures and video. This was a gift I could never have thought was possible. But LifeChronicles made it happen. We are eternally grateful...
I had the good fortune of meeting Kate a few months ago when she traveled to the east coast. She is a warm and wonderful lady, kind and caring; I expected nothing less. I am truly blessed to call her my friend...
Please know that LifeChronicles would "move mountains" for anyone in need. They don't require a fee for services; they just ask, if you are able, to make a donation. They are all committed to helping those in time of need...God bless them all!
> Dear Kate and friends,
> I just wanted yo all to know how much your organizational has meant to all of us. Unbelievably, it has only been 6 months since Tammy's passing, and now the holidays are upon us. Each day continues to be a struggle knowing she will never be with us again and honoring her memory through her young children, AJ and Jacob. Steve, her husband, feels this as well, while continuing on without his soulmate and partner in life's journey. I have purchased two small trunks, one for each child, to preserve momentoes of their mother. Added to this, will be the video your organization created. I just wanted you all to know what Life Chronicles has meant to us. You have given us a medium to preserve Tammy, her voice, her love, her soul, for her children and all of us left behind. The days ahead will be difficult, but knowing we have a piece of her, with her wishes and love for her children preserved, will make their journey in life a bit easier. Her dying wish to Steve was that her children never forget her. We have all made a vow that AJ and Jacob will never forget their Mommy....If any family would ever like to speak to me about the I importance of a legacy, feel free to contact me. Tammy was so weak and fragile, we didn't know how this could be done. Kate, you told me how amazing this process is, that she would muster the energy to complete the taping. You were right, she did, and with so much grace, poise and dignity. And for this, we are eternally grateful. I say this for any family wavering: should we do this, should we even ask the loved one or family to follow through and do a taping? I, too, was wavering and afraid to ask. But Tammy, knowing what would be, made the decision for us. She was and still is an inspiration to us all...
> Once again, thank you. I cannot say it enough...
> Most Sincerely,
> Vicki McDowell
My mom had end stage cancer and was about to enter hospice, and I am so happy I'd discovered LifeChronicles while she was still alert and able to tell some stories and laugh a bit. Both my folks sat for Kate and her terrific crew and we have a dvd which will be shown to children and their grandchildren, some of whom never got to meet the folks.
What a fantastic idea, what a great non-profit service! Imagine if you could see film of your own great grandparents, or their parents...what a great way to let the future know of the past, and the people that got us here.
Can't say enough about LifeChronicles.
In 2003 my Mother died from Esophageal Cancer. That same year I was diagnosed, after surgery, with stage III Ovarian Cancer. As I moved though the years I became distraught over the fact that I could not remember my Mothers beautiful voice and have been kicking myself ever since for not recording it. And now in 2013 as I am preparing for my transition from life to death as a result of my cancer I most definitely wanted to leave a recorded voice message for my husband, David. So I brought the subject up with one of my Assisted Hospice caregivers and she pointed me to Life Chronicles and Kate Carter. I contacted Kate though their website and within a day or two I heard back from her. We set up an appt for a taping the very next week.
She said not to script or even think about what I was going to say and she answered a few other questions I had over the phone. There is something about Kate's voice that is encouraging and clear.
I had originally intended for my voice recording to be about 5 or 6 minutes. Though the encouragement I received from Kate during the taping we had about 1/2 hour when we were done. I was amazed at how quickly and easily all of their equipment was set up, left no doubt in my mind that the finished product will be truly amazing. Can't wait to see it.
Kate and her colleagues recently completed a project with a young female patient of mine battling metastatic breast cancer. This brave young woman was preparing to leave behind three young children and an adoring husband and clearly expressed a dying wish to leave behind a message of love and comfort to get them through the days ahead. Kate and her team were the whole package; compassionate, flexible and experienced with working with families at this challenging time. I truly cannot imagine a smoother experience; it was a pleasure to work with the Life Chronicles team to make this patient's wish come true. The gratitude the family has for this important work is beyond words, as this lovely young woman passed away only a few hours after working with the team. The peace that this experience gave to her is a gift beyond measure, and I look forward to working the team again in the near future!
In 2009, I was diagnosed with metastatic GIST, which is a rare variety of cancer; there are currently two basic meds used to control it. After 3 years of treatment, the medications lost their efficacy and I was told I had somewhere between two and six months to live. The oncological social worker I see told me about Kate and LifeChronicles. I contacted her and last week she and another volunteer came to my apartment and very efficiently set up their cameras, gave me some idea of how the interview would work and we were off and running. We taped for about two hours, starting at the beginning and moving up to the present. It would be hard for me to overstate the catharsis this provided me....memories came back that I realized, once I was dead, would die with me. This video gave me an opportunity to leave my story for friends and family, including generations not yet born. Even if I hadn't led a farily interesting life, my story and those of thousands of others will be recorded and available for future generations. Kate was entirely professional, had the right questions, and helped guide the story. Please give them a call and if you can donate to this fine non-profit. (Though they will record your story without a donation). It was, all in all, an excellent experience and one I would encourage others to get involved in.
My husband John was diagnosed with esophageal cancer at the age of 42. His chances then were 1 in 10 of surviving this type of cancer. He had never been a smoker, was healthy and had no history of digestive problems. We tried everything we could, even traveling to NYC to get second opinions. John fought this terrible disease with dignity, humor and bravery. He lost his own mother to cancer when he was 7 and knew the emotions our young daughters would go through eventually. After chemo, radiation and surgery, nine months later, we received the wonderful news that John was in remission! It was wonderful that we could put this behind us and move on to the life we knew we would have together. After a wonderful family reunion trip to Disneyland, seven months after he was given a clean bill of health, a scan gave us the awful news that the cancer had returned and had spread. At that point, he was given one year to live. We decided to take our girls on trips all over the country to vacation how we would have, had we been able to raise our kids together. We crammed a lifetime into the time we had left. During this time, John was writing letters to me and the girls, teaching them how to ride bikes or how to cook. Things that he wanted them to know before he left this world. The last week of my husband's life, Dr. Tom Mouser from HCI came to our home to see John. He was so compassionate to John, speaking to him softly and kindly and holding his hand. It was so comforting to my family. He mentioned Life Chronicles. He explained that they would come in, interview him, the girls with him, and our family and we could say anything we wanted. It was a chance to have John say what he wanted and have it recorded forever. The last day John was in our home, Kate Carter came into our lives as a stranger, and left as a person I considered a personal friend. She gently explained what we could do, how anything recorded would be precious to all of us. She set up her video camera and began to interview John and then John with just me. It was such a beautiful moment to say things to my husband and him to say things to me, knowing it would be ingrained in my heart forever. Our girls then came and sat on the bed with our dog. Our girls were 7 and 10 at the time. I remember him telling the girls how much he loved them, how proud he was of them and how his cancer was NOT their fault. It just happened and it could not be controlled. We hugged, laughed, talked about our wonderful family trips together and how we would be together again someday. John left our home an hour after the interview to move into a hospice facility. He passed away three days later. I was always concerned my girls would forget his mannerisms and his voice. We have that on video now. His voice telling them that he loves them is something they will have for the rest of their lives. That is priceless and Life Chronicles made that happen. I didn't have to do anything. Dr. Mouser set it up, Kate flew to our city and came to our home. It was all handled with compassion and respect. It is something my girls and I will always be grateful for.
My husband died suddenly at 42, leaving me after only a few years of marriage, with a 2 yr old and an infant. We didn't have time to make a lot of memories together, let alone capture them on tape. Life Chronicles helped me and my family to organize our thoughts, memories, and the few videos I did have, turning them into a useful, tactile, available object, at a time when I didn't have much to hold onto psychologically. It was HARD work to make that film about my husband, but it is such a treasure to have now. Admittedly, It's a hard video to watch still, but it's there when we need a "daddy" fix. My kids, now in middle school, really can't remember their father, so the images and thoughts captured in that video are priceless. The film crew and project manager were wonderful to work with throughout; sensitive, and professional.
My wife had received the recommendation for LifeChronicles from a friend and set up a date for a video. Kate and her team were great. Comfortable and very flexible to work with (we have three young kids). My wife very much wanted to capture her thoughts and feelings of herself for the kids for when they were older, and also of the two of us, since they may not remember us together. The day of filming seemed to go well and we have been very pleased with Kate's work so far.
A lifelong friend contacted Life Chronicles on my behalf shortly after I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. As the mother of three young boys, two of whom are so young they are unlikely to remember me, I was searching for ways for them to know a little about me. We considered a home video, but I couldn't figure out the best content and quality was an issue. My friend gave me Kate's information and I contacted her. Within 48 hours we scheduled a date for Kate, and some members of her team, to travel to our home and help me create a video for my children and family. The filming was very easy to be a part of, and in our conversations before she arrived, Kate assured me that answering the questions spontaneously would produce a wonderful result. I cannot say enough good things about Life Chronicles - they were terrific during the planning stages, the filming day, and after as well. I have not yet had the final version of my video made, but I have no doubt that will also be another positive experience.
Kate Carter and all her incredible support staff are angels on earth! Kate gave me & my family the most priceless, special gift ever...a video of my dad. My dad was a member of an adult day care center which Life Chronicles had been visiting. They were interviewing and taping several of the members and happen to capture several days worth of my dad. My dad was suffering from Parkinson's Decease so his mobility was limited. He passed away months after the taping and interviews. A few days after his passing, I received a call from Kate, who I had never met but after our phone conversation, I felt as though I had known her my entire life. She was kind, caring, loving and so empathetic and told me how much she had taken to my dad. We made plans to meet and we became friends immediately. Kate has a heart the size of this planet. The Father's Day following the passing of my dad, Kate presented me with the video Life Chronicles had taken of my dad. What a gift. They captured priceless footage that I will have forever and be able to pass down to my son. I will never forget all the incredible loving volunteers that made this all possible for me and my family. Kate and LC hold a very special spot in my heart...and always will. We love you K8t!!
My name is Daniel; and I volunteered for life chronicles in March 2012, and it was an event I will always remember. I have been in media production for about seven years now, but I have never work on a project like this. Life Chronicles is a great program that gives families lasting memories. I was deeply moved while I shot and listened to the family's recount of their lives. This was a life changing event for me, and I would volunteer again.
I was diagnosed with ALS 4 years ago. I had already done some video work to share with my 2 sons when I am gone. I was referred to Life Chronicles during this process. I was skepticle to say the least, but was inspired to pursue a quality taping after talking with Kate. The speed at which she put together this very difficult process was amazing. The quality, professionalism, and respect was/is what makes Life Chronicles special..Kate makes a delicate situation bearable and even fun. Thank you to Kate and Life Chronicles for giving me and my boys this gift. Loren Dils
I contacted LifeChronicles for my friend. I was told that Kate is out on personal matters for some days. But within hours of sending an email Kate responded. She was always available for us and she cleared her calendar to accommodate us within days. She was somehow able to get a Board of Director to come and tape within a very short notice. The cultural differences were most kindly accommodated. The comfort of the person who was being taped was always foremost. Unfortunately, my friend decided not to tape a couple of hours before taping was due. Kate and the Steven graciously accepted it and said that they were ready to re-tape whenever we were ready again. Thank you LIfeChronicles for the wonderful service that you do.
My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in June at age 44 and given six months to live. One day at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, I saw a flyer for LifeChronicles and sent a message to Kate via email. My husband was an extraordinarily private man, and was uncomfortable with the idea of having a stranger come into our home to videotape him. Kate responded to my questions immediately and did everything she could to assure us my husband's legacy for our children could still be preserved. Using short videos my husband made himself--love letters to each of our sons, one to me, short tutorials he made about shaving and dating and tying ties, combined with pictures, other home videos and music--and even adding on a last minute clip-- LIfeChronicles made an incredible tribute to my husband which we will always treasure. He passed away in November and one of my sons has already viewed the video--he started it just to learn how to tie a tie for the funeral, but then watched the whole thing! My other son is not yet ready to view the video, but when he is, I know he will feel close to his dad, as if he were still with us in some measure. Thanks, Kate. CS
I became involved with LifeChronicles nearly 14 years ago when founder, Kate Carter shared her vision of creating an organization that would help those who were dying to leave messages to family members and friends that they were leaving behind. I have been a volunteer and experienced first hand, the power of what LifeChronicles provides. On a daily basis LifeChronicles is contacted to help people as they face one of their greatest challenges of their lives--transitioning out of life and making sure that the memory of them, and their love for the most important people in their lives is captured. LifeChronicles provides a service and a gift to people that is timeless. The therapeutic value is tremendous for those who are taped and those who are left behind. When someone is inspired to give back to their community they want to know that their contribution will have an impact and their funds will be used wisely. I know that this is the case with LifeChronicles.
We (four kids) did not know what to give our parents for their 75th birthdays then heard about Life Chronicles. An acquaintance told me about a family member who was terminally ill, and how Life Chronicles flew out to IL to interview this family member before she passed, and all pro bono. After checking Life Chronicles out online and talking to the founder, Kate, I knew I would love for my parents to leave their story for posterity. They are healthy but not getting any younger, so I convinced my siblings this would be the perfect gift. We contributed what we could afford (no pressure at all) and Kate took it from there. Our parents loved the idea but were a bit apprehensive about the process. Kate and her crew made them feel at ease throughout and my parents were thrilled with the final product, a professionally filmed 90 minute interview spanning our parents' childhood through the present. My sister and I just watched the DVD together and couldn't agree more. This is such a great keepsake, a wonderful gift to pass on to future generations of our family. I recommend Life Chronicles without reservation. Helene
I am so blessed to have Life Chronicles come into my life. Last summer, the last time I was to see my mom, the crew came to her home, and made the video. Mom died on Thankgiving, and although I had already recieved the video, I hadnt yet had the courage to watch it. We watched as a family the day after she died - and what an incredible gift to have her voice, her face, her hands, her memory and her story on film forever. It was very professionaly done, and I feel like it is an incredible gift that we will cherish for generations to come. I highly recommend this wonderful non-profit service to anyone who cherishes someone who will be gone one day.
Although it's been a little over a year since I've volunteered my time, I miss working at LifeChronicles very much. I think about the founder, Kate Carter, and the organization all the time, and how much it's impacted me over the course of time I got to be there, and continues today. I really admire her work, and the work that gets done there everyday! I am so grateful for the time I got to be there, and all the hours i put in. Kate Carter and LifeChronicles truly carry a big spot in my heart. I hope to be able to go back soon and put in some more time. All the best!! Xoxo
Parkinson's is slowly taking my father's voice and physical abilities. This summer, while Daddy still had the cognitive and physical ability to speak and share stories, Life Chronicles filmed him and my mom. Without knowing it, my mom and dad shared their legacy. We (their children and grandchildren) were able to recall on camera important moments, and laugh and cry with them. Kate expertly guided us through the experience. My mom and dad are now reviewing their raw footage and collecting photos and music to add to the video. My mom tells me it is THE greatest gift that she and my dad can leave us. We all agree.
As I prepared to enter the hospital for a bone marrow transplant to treat my aggressive leukemia, I wanted to tackle an ambitious but important task, a video for my two small children to remember me by. I wanted to pass on advice, information, values, and my hopes and dreams—15 years of parenting wrapped up in a 15 minute DVD. Two days before I started treatment again, I had 7 pages of notes and no video. My social worker suggested LifeChronicles. I was impressed and moved by the website, a video like this was exactly what I needed; it seemed impossible in a short timeframe but I crossed my fingers and requested a taping. The next morning I got a call at 8:00 am from company founder Kate Carter, asking if I could tape at 9:30 am. She was coincidentally just finishing a shoot in the Bay Area and kindly squeezed me in before she had to leave San Jose, and later, she even called to postpone her afternoon meeting (that was 300 miles away) because she felt this was more important. I didn’t need to do any preparation except pick an outfit to wear. The shoot was easy, she guided me through some b-roll of me playing with the children; later she interviewed me and I addressed some of the things I wanted to say from my notes. Kate made me comfortable in front of the camera so my children could see my sense of humor and my personality shine through, and the way we interacted while I read them a story might help stimulate some fading memories of my smell or touch. The whole experience was so rewarding because LifeChronicles will produce an amazing video that will protect my legacy of love for my children with a DVD of images, words, music, and video of their mother being a mother. And whether I live or die, my kids will get to see me as I am now, before the treatment withers me away, and before they stop believing in the unfailing, eternal love of their mother. This gift I leave for my family was only made possible by Kate and LifeChronicles, whose dedication and commitment will not only help provide a structure of memories for my children in a way that will be always treasured, but also allows me to go into treatment knowing that a little piece of me will always come back.
San Jose, Calif.
My experience with the LifeChronicles people was excellent. They are very professional and dedicated to their craft. Great follow-thru! Very good to work with! I speak from experience as Chairman and CEO (ret.) of one of the country's oldest and best known company's. I dealt with professionals who were in charge of our print and t.v. advertising.
J. J. Harvey
Life Chronicles videoed my life partner, Daphne, one year before she died of cancer. Daphne had Alzheimer's, and we assumed that that would be the disease that impaired her ability to speak in the future about her life. Life Chronicles provided us with a cogent and comprehensive overview of a brilliant and talented artist who was able to leave an invaluable legacy for her children, grandchildren, and for me. Kate Carter was sensitive and knowledgeable in her interviewing, and her high-school-aged videographers were extremely insightful in creating a visual record of Daphne's spoken words and a comprehensive visual array of her artwork. I treasure this unique and captivating video.
I have had the pleasure of serving as an advisor to Life Chronicles since it was founded by Kate Carter. Life Chronicles is a unique organization that has provided comfort and support to countless families over the last several years and continues to do so with the help of caring staff and volunteers of the highest integrity.
When Life Chronicles created the wonderful video they did of my mother, I thought that the main intent was for we kids and her friends to enjoy it. Little did I know that mom would have a ball working with their skilled staff to record her life story so creatively. She watched the tape many times afterwards whether showing it to someone or on her own. It was a great experience for her, and now that she is gone, we can still enjoy seeing and hearing her telling her story in that inimitable way she had.
Life Chronicles provides an invaluable service. I work at a local Cancer Center and I have referred many families over the years for video taping. Initially, many patients and families are anxious about being recorded. But it only takes a few minutes for Kate and her crew to melt away those fears. By the end of the sessions, patients leave feeling validated. It is a beautiful & healing process.
On a personal note, I think it is important to mention that I also have been a beneficiary of this wonderful service. When my siblings and I were told that my father's life was measured in months, we began recording his life stories. I asked Kate if she would compile these recording into one viewable DVD for my family. I knew at the time that the person who was going to need this video more than any family member, was my father's favorite grandson, who also happens to be my son. My son still can not watch the video, but he holds tight to his copy. Thank you for helping my son.
I came to LifeChronicles the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, looking for something meaningful to do with my summer that would give me some video production experience. What I received from LifeChronicles, was so much more. My experience taping people at LifeChronicles taught me so much about life and how it can be cruel and unfair, yet still so full of love and joy. I expected the tapings to be morose and depressing, yet not a single one was. Every person I taped just had messages for the ones they loved and stories to share with future generations--there was nothing depressing about it at all. More than video production, LifeChronicles taught me about the resilience and joy of the human condition. I gained so much from my experience at LifeChronicles that two years after my first summer volunteering, I came back to volunteer again after my first year of college.
Additionally, I am constantly impressed by the people running LifeChronicles. The few staff members and the many volunteers are all so passionate about what they do and devote themselves fully to their work, believing fully in the power of a video to capture the memory of someone. LifeChronicles is a truly unique and important non-profit organization.
LIfe Chronicles taped my late husband Joe sixth months into his illness of ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) Words cannot express how important this tape has been in our lives. At the time of Joe's death our girls were 11, 7, 2 and 8months old. Life Chronicles' volunteer traveled around town with Joe's sister to capture some of his childhood for them, Joe sat and talked for hours about everything he wanted the girls to know and remember while he was gone. Still, as important as the message is that he left for the girls I think what is MOST important is capturing DADDY as he was. The girls are able to see his mannerisms and hear his voice not just hear about the type of person he was. I believe this to be very important because as the years pass the memories never fade but the small details do. My youngest daughter never got to know her Daddy but with our Life Chronicles tape she is able to hear him say her name and speak to her which is so amazing. The work that Life Chronicles completes is just so important. They truly touch many many lives along the way and really make a difference. I know we are ever so grateful for the gift they have given us!!
As the founder of LifeChronicles, what I can tell you about LifeChronicles that matters most is...the families we serve make it clear to us each day how important a LifeChronicles video is to them. They tell us it is precious, priceless and one of the most important things they own. They realize now, even though the loved one they have lost may not have been sick when we taped them, that this video is a gift that will be passed along from generation to generation. They know they will never have to worry about forgetting the sight and sound of them and just what it was about them that was so special. And the filmings are often a source of healing for the families that continues long after they sat down and spoke the word they wanted to be remembered. One of the greatest gifts from this work is that student volunteers are forever powerfully and profoundly enriched by their experiences with the people we film.
LifeChronicles is an organization that captures the essence of the incredible people that you and I see everyday. But, instead of just passing them by, we get to acknowledge what they are about. LifeChronicles, captures the stories and memories of those who we could learn from everyday who fight with the unexpected experiences and struggles in life. LifeChronicles listens, sees, acknowledges, captures, grips the heart, finds the inner beauty, fosters the growth and well-being of every human. The last thing on this earth that LifeChronicles will do is take advantage of a life because through watching the over 600 people that they have taped they have learned what it truly means to value the time that we all have on this earth. Whether it's learning about someone in a 2 hour video or getting to be in their presence with them for 2 hours, I have learned that time is precious and it’s the one thing that is with us the most throughout our life but, much like everything else in life it runs out. LifeChronicles gives that priceless gift to those who struggle ever single day back to their families and loved ones. It's the one thing that I know my family would want most of if I was terminally ill, and only had some time left to live. I conclude my review with saying that LifeChronicles gives time back to those who don't have much of it left when they hear in those few minutes in a room with a doctor that they are diagnosed with a terminal illness that could take years away from their life. What would you say?