Community Cinema hosted a screening of the Independent Lens film D TOUR this past weekend at the Nashville Public Library. The film chronicles musician Pat Spurgeon's search for a living kidney donor and the challenges associated with finding a viable match. Regional Outreach Coordinator Allison Inman gives an overview of the event.
It was a coincidence (but not a surprise) that we had two rock drummers on our D TOUR panel in Music City. One, Craig Krampf, helps musicians find affordable health care as secretary/treasurer of the Nashville Musicians Association (formerly Nashville Association of Musicians). The other, Kenny Walker, is a kidney recipient who regularly shares his story in conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Kenny’s experience was much like Pat Spurgeon’s––he was a drummer in a heavy metal band and was sidelined when his kidney failed. He also received a perfect-match kidney from a 19-year-old donor. Between those two drummers––as well as Dave Pomeroy, president of the Nashville Musicians Association and NKFMT Executive Director Teresa Davidson and Program Director Samantha Rogers––we had mostly every angle of the film covered during our post-screening discussion. Kenny, Teresa and Samantha schooled us on organ donation, helping us understand both the urgent need for donors and the simple steps we can take to sign up. We discussed the importance of talking with family about an individual’s choice to be an organ donor (even if you’re signed up, they can overrule). Craig and Dave addressed musicians, letting them know their options for health care through their organization and national groups like the Future of Music Coalition. This is extra important because many musicians have trouble getting covered.
D TOUR is a powerful film, and I heard a lot of sniffles during the final 10 minutes. After the screening a woman said her aunt died while waiting for an organ transplant. She said that it’s one thing to know that donation is important and another to experience that urgency first hand––and that Pat’s experience on screen helps the viewer understand how that feels. We measure the success of screenings in different ways. Here’s one: Yesterday, I got a Facebook friend request from someone who’d attended the screening. I was pleased to see that her Saturday afternoon status was: “I want everyone to do two things: 1. Watch the film D Tour on your local PBS this fall (check listings) 2. Have an honest conversation with yourself and your loved ones about being an organ donor. That is my Saturday soapbox :) .” She has 947 friends. Thank you, new Facebook friend Millie C., and thank you, NPT, Nashville Public Library, Hands On Nashville, National Musicians Association, National Kidney Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Thanks also to Grimey’s New and Preloved Music (where Nashvillians can buy Rogue Wave records) for the newsletter shout-out, the Nashville Scene for the film page pick, and Bongo Java for donating coffee.
- Allison Inman Regional Outreach Coordinator
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