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Short Film Shade Educates Audiences About Rare Disease

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Director Kimberly Williams-Paisley got the idea for Shade by watching a CNN report about the disease xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). XP is a rare genetic disease in which patients cannot be exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light without suffering severe skin damage. People with XP have over a thousand times greater chance of developing skin cancer. XP patients remain indoors during daylight hours and have specially tinted windows to block harmful light rays. A trip outside, no matter how brief the duration, requires special clothing that covers the body to prevent sun exposure.

Kimberly financed, directed, and took the lead role in Shade, where she plays Laura, a person with XP. Through Laura you can get a view into the life of someone suffering with this disease. You get to see what kinds of precautions an XP patient must take on a daily basis to avoid sunlight. For instance, in the film Laura works a night shift as a security guard. To get to work on time in the summer Laura must travel before the sun has gone down.

Shade also shows the life and death decisions an XP patient potentially faces on a daily basis, including a very sudden one in this film. Patrick Dempsey co-stars as Laura's husband, and Kimberly's real life husband, Brad Paisley, provided music for the film.

The Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society, which supports XP Patients worldwide, helped with the production. The XP Society runs a camp for children with XP called Camp Sundown. The camp activities all take place at night.

So little is known about diseases like XP that attracting the public's attention to raise funds for research is very difficult. It is more likely that an individual will give money to support research into more common illnesses such as heart disease or AIDS. However, according to the XP Society "all study on XP will help all people in the epidemic levels of skin cancer worldwide." Shade helps raise much needed awareness about this condition.
Shade has won several awards at film festivals and is available to the public for free. You can get a copy of the DVD mailed to you by contacting the film's official site or the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.