‘Jump Start a Life’ ~ Live – Streamed Telethon in San Diego to Support Derek Johnston on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Jump Start a Life’ ~ Live – Streamed Telethon in San Diego to Support Derek Johnston on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Sharing this press release for a very special upcoming event

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 15, 2019 – SAN DIEGO, CA: Heartland Films, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, in association with IntelleXual Entertainment, Grudio Pictures and Preposterous Films are partnering to produce a twelve-hour live-streamed telethon on March 16, 2019 entitled ‘Jump Start a Life’ to support Derek Johnston who is battling Stage-4 Non-Clear Cell Kidney Cancer. Mr. Johnston has been a leader in supporting the creative arts in San Diego since 2012 when he began managing The Horton Grand Theatre, a position he held until his cancer diagnosis in October 2016.

Since his diagnosis Mr. Johnston has been unable to work as he has fought this terrible disease. He had a kidney removed in December 2016 and by April 2018 his doctors told him he should expect to pass away within two weeks. He had dropped to 103 lbs on his 6’ frame. His family, his friends and Mr. Johnston collectively held their breath in anticipation of the end.

This is where the story takes a dramatic turn as Mr. Johnston did not expire.

Since that dark time in April he has regained over 40 lbs and has seen nearly 30% reduction in his cancer cell count. He has been participating in a clinical trial and his body’s response to the treatment has been nothing short of incredible. It is very clear that Mr. Johnston must be allowed to remain in San Diego to continue as an active participant in this life-saving clinical trial and to be a positive member of this group of patients that are helping lead the way in discovering a cure for this terrible disease.

Unfortunately, Mr. Johnston is still unable to work, has depleted his savings and is at serious risk of having to drop out of the trial. As the manager of The Horton Grand Theatre Mr. Johnston threw his support behind innumerable creatives in San Diego. He helped local creatives with agreements that allowed artists of all varieties and budgets to use the theater for dance programs, comedy, film screenings, filming on location, awards shows and plays. His assistance directly affected thousands of artists in our community. “Due to the generosity of Derek Johnston, who was the Executive Director of the Historic Horton Grand Theatre, I was able to film for an entire weekend with the first ever all female team during the 2015 48 Hour Film Challenge. His generosity is legendary,” states Sue Vicory, founder of Heartland Films. Because of his generosity a growing number of members of the creative arts community are stepping forward to help raise funds to allow Mr. Johnston to remain in San Diego and continue receiving the life-saving treatment he so desperately needs. “Without Derek’s generosity and support my dreams of hosting a live celebrity interview to celebrate the two-year anniversary of my podcast would not have come true. His enthusiasm for our show, and his belief in what we were building helped solidify my professional reputation in the community as a host and a filmmaker,” said David S. Dawson, host of The IntelleXual Podcast.

At noon on March 16th a twelve-hour telethon will live-stream on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch in support of Derek Johnston. Dubbed Jump Start A Life the program will be a variety show featuring local bands, comedians, improv and theater performances, cooking, interviews, and short films.

The show will be broadcasting from the studios at Voice and Video Sales, and at The Comedy Palace in Kearny Mesa. A LIVE audience will enjoy the performances at The Comedy Palace.

Jump Start A Life is a production Executive Produced by Heartland Films, Inc. a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity and all donations made to the telethon are tax-deductible. Jump Start A Life is seeking corporate sponsorships in addition to individual donations. Parties interested in sponsoring can visit the Jump Start A Life website at https://jumpstartalife.org. For more information about the program contact Producer/Co-Director David S. Dawson: david@theintellexual.com



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