A Glorious Night For a Glorious Cause

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by | May 17, 2022 | Health-And-Medicine

It is 4:00PM Thursday May 12th, 2022 at Nizhoni Functional Medicine and the staff is scrambling to finish seeing patients for the day. They quickly take turns changing out of their scrubs into their red carpet attire. The doors to the private theater were supposed to open at 5:45 PM at the Harkins Theater 101-14 in Scottsdale, AZ. As the Nizhoni staff arrived to set up, it was apparent that the buzz in the community had spread, and people were already filling the theater. The staff members moved quickly to get the raffle tickets ready, the step and repeat assembled, and the donation table ready. New and friendly faces began to find their seats in anticipation of the premier of The Monster Inside Me. Dr. Despres dazzled the crowd with a playful Q & A while waiting for Tony and Frances Silva. The film and production crew arrived right in the nick of time for the show to begin. Now let’s discuss how Nizhoni Functional Medicine became the sponsor for the Arizona premier…

In late 2019, I was contacted by Tony Silva, whom was finishing the final touches of his documentary, The Monster Inside Me. Tony detailed the journey he had been through with his wife, Frances, and her experience with Lyme disease. We being all too familiar with the horrors of Lyme disease offered some friendly guidance and wished them both well. Shortly after our first meeting, we were contacted again and Tony asked if Dr. Kenneth Mitchell would be willing to be filmed in the documentary. Dr. Kenneth Mitchell agreed to being filmed knowing that the film was almost completely finished and his role in the film would be very minimal. We filmed three separated times between the winter of 2019 and May of 2020. Over the next few years, Tony emailed sparingly with updates on the film and the release date. We were excited to be apart of something that contributed positively to our community even if it was a small contribution.

In February of 2022, Tony reached out and asked if we would be willing to sponsor the Arizona premier of The Monster Inside Me, as they did not have a company sponsorship yet. Not having seen the movie yet and knowing that we would have a very limited feature in the film…we quickly decided HECK YES we would love to sponsor the Arizona premier. We wanted to sponsor the film for the community, our community, our patients, patients who aren’t our patients, our colleagues, all of the caretakers, all of the facilities and all of the health care workers who take care of patients suffering from Lyme disease every single day. We had an opportunity to give a gift to the community and that is exactly what we did. The night was filled with tears, cheers, and everything in between. We laughed, cried, and held our loved ones hands tight as we watched the beautiful love stories unfold. The film is a symbol of hope for the Lyme disease community. If sponsoring this film helps even just one person…then good, bad, or ugly, Nizhoni Functional Medicine would do it all over again.

Now of course, no good deed goes unpunished. There has been a backlash for Dr. Kenneth Mitchell and Nizhoni Functional Medicine among a small group of people in the Lyme disease community. But, we can save that drama filled story for next time!