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LifeChronicles

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Family Services, Film & Video, Human Services

Mission: The services that LifeChronicles provides were inspired by an experience of our founder, Kate Carter. A recently widowed friend of Kate was diagnosed with cancer and told she had a short time to live. Kate was concerned that her friend's three children would lose the memories of their father and mother. This concern inspired Kate to speak to her friend about making a video to deliver messages of love, sharing her stories and passing on advice for the future. Although Kate's friend passed before they had a chance to tape her, from this experience LifeChronicles was born. Through videotaping individuals and families across the country, LifeChronicles strives to preserve the memory and essence of individuals, to tell the stories that could have gone untold and to solidify the bonds between people. With the help of our youth volunteers, LifeChronicles has served over 1,200 families in 38 states and 250 cities who have found a need for our video-recordings in a variety of similar situations.

Results: We are now creating a certification program after requests from major medical and hospice institutions wishing to be trained to provide our experience and expertise so their patients will have a LifeChronicle whenever needed.

Target demographics: families heal and connect

Direct beneficiaries per year: families across the United States.

Geographic areas served: Everywhere

Programs: By videotaping an elderly family member or a seriously ill loved one.

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gabrielle M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Laura
Boston, MA

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Rob Peres

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Cyndi8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Natacha

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

6 Melissa171

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kate,
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.
Laurie

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!!

Vicki24

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

> 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
>

Dave50

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Noelle H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.