Finding Chemo: The Clarissa Sturm Movie
Clarissa made this film about her experience in the BTU (Bone Marrow Transplant Unit) at Constantiabergin Cape Town several months before she passed away on the 16th February 2006. She was just 22 years old. Clarissa had her stem cell transplant in August 2005 and a subsequent scan months later showed herself clear of the lymphoma. She accidentally cut her hand late January 2006 and an infection took her life several weeks later. I only knew Clarissa for several months but she continues to define courage for me along with all the cancer patients I have encountered in the last 6 years. She was studying film at the time of her illness and she shot and cut Finding Chemo with the help of her great pal Byron. It's a testimony to her to how great a filmmaker she would have been. She laughed when I jokingly suggested calling her film Finding Chemo but the title stuck. The day she showed me the film on her TV in her flat she was so proud of these 20 minutes and she should be. The simple editing style; a daily journal of her 25 days in the BTU unit is stripped of any pretense. It's honest and direct and even in the midst of extreme emotional and physical hardships Clarissa's courage and beauty shines through. Anyway she has been yelling at me for years from the heavens "Vy is my film not on Vimeo!" Well here it is at last Clari! She was The Queen. Beloved by her mom Moira and sister Caro and friends worldwide. Rest in Peace C.