Monday, August 24, 2015

Thank You Letter To "Chasing Life"

Actors Scott Michael Foster and Italia Ricci
Leo & April of Chasing Life

A year ago, I wrote this blog entry about the ABC Family Drama "Chasing Life:

And tonight I wrote the following blog entry:

An Open Letter to Chasing Life Cast and Crew - 

August 24, 2015

To: Patrick Sean Smith, Susanna Fogel, Joni Lefkowitz, Italia Ricci, Scott Michael Foster and all the cast, writers, and production crew of Chasing Life

I want to thank all of you for the August 17, 2015 episode of Chasing Life “As Long As We Both Shall Live”. 

As a mother to two daughters, a 14 year cancer survivor, and a widow, I’ve been a fan of your show since it first aired last summer. I absolutely believe that your program consistently realistically portrays a young woman trying to juggle all the demands of a career, love life, family and friends. And then she receives a cancer diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The first season covers her immediate reaction to her cancer diagnosis, continuing her work as a journalist at a Boston newspaper, attending cancer support groups, and starting her treatment.

Fast forward a year, April has finished her treatment, went into remission, quit her job, went out of remission, began writing a book, started one clinical trial & had to withdraw due to health issues, and married Leo.

And a week ago tonight, at the end of the episode, Leo died. After a night April planned to celebrate their “Non-Honeymoon” trip to Italy due to her current health status, Leo went to sleep and never woke up.

This is where the Thank You comes in. Thank You all for creating such a beautiful tribute to the love that April and Leo shared. It’s also a tribute to Cancer Survivors and the fighters who do not make it. Chasing Life is a very real representation of what so many of us go through and what it takes to get us through the fight of our lives – strength, love, friends, medical information, support, faith and hope.

During these past seven days, I’ve read on twitter and in message boards that many viewers are very upset and distraught about Leo’s death. “So pissed” “WTF”  “Lazy writing” are just a few of the comments I’ve read about the show and this plot line.

I just want to say to these viewers that sometimes people don’t make it. And instead of going off about a fictional character on a television program, channel your determination and effort into something that matters. Sponsor a 'Make A Wish' child. Volunteer at a local hospital. Participate in an event such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk.

I want to post this blog entry before tonight’s episode ends in one minute, so I’ll wrap it up by just thanking everyone involved for caring enough about cancer patients to air each and every episode of Chasing Life.

Leslie Smith Doan
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor
Diagnosed November 7, 2000
Went into Remission May 17, 2001


  1. Hi Leslie,
    What a great post!
    Thanks for letting me know about this program. Although I haven't seen "Chasing Life," you have sparked my interest. With your positive attitude and inspiring outlook on life, it's no wonder you are a survivor.

  2. Thank You Donna! I really appreciate it. Hope you and your family are doing well. Have a good week! Leslie