Michelle's story of hope for diabetes
$15,460 raised
77% of $20k goal
106 contributors
3 Years running

Meet Michelle.

Michelle is afraid to go to sleep for fear of not waking up. She is afraid to collapse and fall down the stairs. She worries about driving her car and walking to work. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend, and hypoglycaemic crashes are a constant, unpredictable and life-threatening reality in Michelle’s life. At 27, she was diagnosed with Type 1 MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young) and has been managing this disability for 12 years now.

We need to tell this story...

We want to make a short film that will chronicle what it is like to live with diabetes and follow Michelle as she undergoes a transplant surgery pioneered in Alberta called the Edmonton Protocol, that has the potential to change her life. Michelle's story of resilience and courage will inspire and remind us of just how precious life is, all while asking us about our responsibility given that knowledge.

The purpose of the “Michelle’s Hope” film is to educate people about diabetes, inspire people to live their best life, despite the hand they were dealt, and to show people it can be done, with a little bit of hope. Tapping into this emotion, the film can then be used as a tool to raise funds for diabetes research.


As of May 1st, 2018, we have reduced the scope of this project.

As you may know by now, we were not able to raise the money for the full length movie we were hoping for, but we still feel this story can make a difference in the lives of others. While we were not able to send a crew to Michelle’s first appointments, there is still SO much of Michelle's journey that remains.

As such, we have decided to re-imagine the project, and move forward anyway. Rather than a full length 1.5 hour movie, we will create a web video, 5-10 minutes in length. We have reduced the budget by cutting the scope significantly. The end goal will be the same.

... and we need to do it right

To make this film right, even on a smaller scale, we are raising money to pay for a professional film crew. Professionals will provide a film that is engaging and emotional, and that has longevity. We are asking you to contribute money to the making of the film, so that it can be used as a fundraising tool for many years to come.

It takes many people to organize, execute and deliver a professional film that has value. Your contribution today will go toward paying for the following services:


The Producer/Directors are the glue. They spend countless hours creating the concept, developing the story, raising funds to pay for the production, hiring the right crew, organizing the moving parts, managing the paperwork, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on insurance, accounting and legal matters, overseeing the advancement and marketing the project to all stakeholders; investors and crew alike.

Production crew

We will now be able to film for about 5 days and to capture Michelle and her story. We need a Director of Photography who will work on his own to manage 1 or 2 cameras, his gear and all sound requirements.

The edit process

The editor reviews all the footage and condenses it into a finished product. This is no small feat. He weaves the elements and tells the story. He combines the audio recordings with the video footage, and then masterfully adds music to draw emotion out of the viewer.

Other costs

  • Equipment rental
  • Insurance
  • Accounting
  • Travel costs for the crew to go to Edmonton with Michelle
  • Music composition/soundtrack
  • Still photographer for marketing
  • Marketing strategists
  • Advertising costs
  • Film festival entries

Our timeline is tight.

Michelle has already begun the process for undergoing her transplant. Please support us today so that we can tell Michelle's story, and the story many diabetics go through every day. Together with your financial support for the making of this film, we can celebrate Michelle’s journey and raise awareness for diabetes. Join us; make a contribution today and make this film a reality.

With your help, our team can make it happen!

As former colleagues in the education industry, Michelle thought to call Jillian Lee, of In Through the Window Productions, to help her tell her story. Jillian recently left education to go back to her previous career in video production and the timing was perfect. Humanitarian-focused, people stories are right up Jillian’s alley so this project was an automatic yes for her. Michelle is an enthusiastic & inspiring main character with a joie de vivre that is infectious. We know we have the perfect combination of ingredients to create a powerful and inspiring film. All that's missing is you! 


Michelle grew up in the Maritimes (NB and NS) and moved with her husband and 2 daughters in 2012 when he was transferred to Calgary. Leaving ALL family behind in the Maritimes to move to an unknown city meant that they suddenly had to manage all on their own. Today, despite Michelle’s family being 5000 miles away, they have found that they still get lots of help and support. They have found a community in Calgary and Michelle’s mom flies regularly across the country at the age of 70 to help out.

Michelle went to Dalhousie University and received a BA, with a major in Spanish, her 3rd language after English and French. She then went on to Mount Saint Vincent for a BEd and after both her children were born, returned to MSVU to complete her Masters in Education. She now works at a K-12 French immersion school, that also teaches Spanish. Michelle loves spending her summers back on the waters of Nova Scotia with family. In the winter, many weekends are spent in the mountains, snowboarding. Yes, she gets the best of both worlds! 

Producer & Director - Jillian Lee

Jillian is a Storyteller, and Agent of Change, delivering multi-platform, inspirational content. She believes sharing our personal stories will connect & unite us, and in doing so, make the world a better place - that's why she founded In Through the Window Productions. Her very first project ever as a Director was to write, produce and direct two videos for Kira’s Day; a fundraising event for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. Jillian then went on to write, produce and direct several web-tv corporate videos, and was Assistant Director of two episodes of YTV’s Prank Patrol; one of which was nominated for a Gemini Award. Jillian soon went on a 6-year hiatus from video production, though, to raise her 2children. She took a job at their school, eventually heading the school’s Library & Information Technology efforts, specializing in Advancement & Innovation. In 2017, Jillian left that position, to go back into documentary filmmaking, and pursue her dreams. She is most recently credited as Assistant-Producer and Production Coordinator of the web series Being There - Helping Caregivers See Their Place in the Story.



See all activity107


Subscribe to receive updates by email.


$5,000 CAD
Your name on the big screen
As a very special thank you to those who contribute $5,000 and over, your name or organization will be featured in the film's closing credits.
More ... Less ...

People just like you

People just like you have raised $203,000,000+ for causes they and their friends care about.

Start your own campaign
Recent contributions