I’m backing a Kickstarter Project … Will You Join Me?

Cards of the Citadel is launching on Kickstarter today!

My husband has created a video game for PC, MAC and Linux players.  This game is unlike any other because it’s a card based strategy game that also incorporates a Tower Defense concept.  Think of it like Plants vs. Zombies (tower defense) meets Magic, or Hearthstone etc.

The player draws cards out of a deck, which determines which defenses they’ll have available to them.  Check out their Kickstarter page, vote them up on Steam Greenlight and I’ll be forever grateful!

No this isn’t my full time job, I simply write my blog as a hobby, but my husband is trying valiantly to be able to put some joy and giggles out into the world with his new game, and any support is appreciated.

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Kickstarting my day

Starting out with I lost 0.4 lbs after yesterday’s sickly episode, glad the protein didn’t kick my ass.

Alright, so I am not a “broke college student”, nor am I an “independently wealthy woman”. I am what I like to consider “Average”, which is not a bad thing.  While I was in my doldrums of how I wanted more money for this, and for that, and how life was so unfair because I didn’t have enough money, someone broke through my wall of self-pity and sent me a link about Andy Whitfield’s fight with cancer.

Needless to say, this crushed my pity party, and reminded me that my life is blessed with good health, good family, and good friends.  So I fight with my weight on a daily basis.  I will survive my weight.  Andy was at the prime of his life, and was dealt a blow that I can’t imagine how I’d handle.  He and his family documented over the last year of his life, up to two weeks before his death last September.

I can’t help but think, “how dare I pity myself for monetary squabbles and minuscule problems, when this family went through all this, as are families around the world?”  So with that healthy dose of “wake-up” I was “kickstarted”.

I’m not sure if you are aware of what Kickstarter is, but if not, let me break it down quickly.  You have a project, and no money.  You post up a request for people to “back” your project, and tell them what you’ll give them in return if they help you out.  A lot of the time this goes for small business, computer games, inventions, movies etc.  Someone (I assume a family member) had the brilliant idea of continuing Andy’s goal and create a documentary of his life, and distribute it so others can learn to “Be Here Now”.

So I have chosen to help kickstart this…oh wait, it’s already $33,000 past their original goal!  It’s an amazing achievement, and according to kicktraq.com, the projected amount is more than 200% higher than their original request.  The pledging period is open until July 23rd, 2012, so if you are a fan of Spartacus, Andy Whitfield, or even just a non-fan of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, or a believer in living in the now, consider checking it out, even if you don’t donate, the preview made me realize what is important in life.

Andy, thank you for reminding me there are bigger things than money, today, I will focusing on how to Be Here Now.

Andy Whitfield of Spartacus Cancer Death Documentary : People.com

After months of clashing swords and seeking vengeance, Andy Whitfield – the chiseled gladiator from TV’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand – ended the first season exhausted with an aching back.

“It’s one of the most extreme things I’ve ever gone through,” he’d recall of the role that made the Welsh-born actor a star. “There was a lot of pain at the end of that. I wasn’t sure what it was. And it wasn’t going away.”

In March 2010 doctors found out why. The then-38-year-old Whitfield had cancer, specifically stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After a relatively mild round of chemotherapy, by September he felt healthy enough to return to the New Zealand set for season two.

That’s when a routine checkup for insurance discovered that the cancer had returned. This time nothing would go easily. Without an aggressive and debilitating chemotherapy regimen, the married father of two small children would have three to six months left to live.

It was then that Whitfield and his wife Vashti decided to document his second cancer battle, inviting film crews and training digital cameras on themselves for more than a year, until shortly before he died at age 39 in September 2011.

A Documentary Funded by Fans

This intimate story is now being made into a film called Be Here Now from Academy Award-nominated director-producer Lilibet Foster, funded in part by an online Kickstarter campaign. Pledges are being accepted through July 23 toward the $200,000 target minimum to get the movie edited and into film festivals.

The footage provides an unflinching look at the brutal – and at times poignant – experiences of a man fighting cancer.

Andy Whitfield

“When we decided to do this, we felt that if we’re going to go through something like this, let’s see what we can learn and share,” Vashti Whitfield tells PEOPLE. “Otherwise, it’s just another wasted journey.”

In a preview clip from the film, Whitfield himself explains the meaning of the project’s title, which he had tattooed on his arm.

“In my heart, I am convinced that this is all meant to be,” he says. “And I’m open to the journey and to the discovers and to the adventure of all of this. ‘Be here now’ is all about being present and not fearing what you don’t know.”

Whitfield decided to hold nothing back, exposing himself both at his best – as he embraces his children or mugs for the camera – and at his darkest moments.

“We did video diaries. We have a man crying, ‘I’m terrified I’m going to die and I have to leave my children,'” says his wife.

A Family Man

At the time, Whitfield – a former engineer who was literally discovered on the street to become a model and later actor – had been married for nine years. He was living in Australia and New Zealand with their son Jessie Red, then 5, and daughter Indigo, then 3. He had to drop out of the hit Starz show.

One of the early scenes shows Whitfield, his eyes red and watery, his head down, reacting to the news that his cancer had returned: “I think I’m just so numb from too much information, that I just don’t know how I feel right now.”

Discussing his options with his wife, “Andy decided, 100 percent, he wasn’t going to take it on the chin,” Vashti tells PEOPLE. The actor decided to undergo traditional treatments, but also explored ancient Eastern practices in India to bolster his immune system “to get him into the best state of being that he could be.”

Returning to Sydney, Australia, Whitfield then began a rigorous regime of chemotherapy – the film shows the IV dripping into his hand, his wife shaving off his remaining hair.

In one gripping scene, a pale and hairless Whitfield – his body now ravaged by the treatment and a tumor so painful he soon wouldn’t be able to walk – lies on his back as he’s fed through a CT scan. Eyes pressed shut, he groans in agony while his wife speaks to him through a microphone from another room.

“That’s it, breathe out,” she encourages him. “You can do this, Andy. You’re doing an incredible job. That’s it, breathe out. Breathe into the pain.”

The results are mixed, with the couple being told by phone that “the disease is there but it’s less than it was before.”

“It’s going the right way,” Whitfield responds hopefully, and his wife pats his bald head, saying, “Well done.”

“Not a Sad Movie”

The footage ends about two weeks before Whitfield’s death on Sept. 11, 2011, and his passing is told through Vashti recounting how he said goodbye.

“It’s not going to be a sad movie,” says director Foster. “It’s going to be a very beautiful, inspiring and uplifting film, not the least of which is an amazing love story between him and his wife.”

Adds Sam Maydew, a producer of the film: “Andy never wavered, not once, even though the treatment was really hard and some of the experiences were really tough. He was so committed to this and knew that no matter how it turned out, that this was going to be helpful to other people and inspiring to other people. That in turn inspired him.”

via Andy Whitfield of Spartacus Cancer Death Documentary : People.com.