Two-time cancer survivor David Octavio Gandell, 40, wants to share the story of his battle with the deadly disease, in an effort to inspire others.
Gandell has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $31,000 for a proposed film, Cancer was a Blessing, The documentary would be based on his fight with cancer and how faith helped him overcome the challenges.
“The goal is to give people hope, when there is no hope,” he said in a phone interview. “It is an answer to my prayers. My doctor speaks about my faith and to that is a testimony in itself. I told him that God was my instrument and he was going to heal me.”
In 2004, Gandell was misdiagnosed with testicular cancer after surgery. Two days later, doctors revealed that he had a terminal and rare malignant tumor known as an immature teratoma, which causes multiple types of cancers. A few years later, the cancer had spread.
“I was given a death sentence,” he said.
Gandell, a personal trainer and motivational speaker, said that with the help of doctors at University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, his faith kept him alive. He made a promise to himself and God that he would live to tell his story to inspire others.
“If God healed me this was my promise to share my story to give people hope,” he said.
He filmed his battle, which he hopes will be included in the documentary.
Before getting sick, he weighed 180 pounds. His weight later dropped to 120 pounds. But despite the challenges he managed to workout, which he filmed.
Fe2Live Entertainment, a faith-based film production founded by Gandell, Ariel Santiago and Zanibel Melo, is producing the documentary. The documentary is hoped to premiere during Cancer Awareness Month in October 2016. Soon after the release of the movie, Gandell wants to release a book dedicated to his journey, and a feature film he is currently writing a script for.
Melo said cancer has affected many and that this documentary can serve as an aid to those battling the disease.
“We are excited about the project. Cancer is common today than ever before,” she said. “Given the time to develop this project will be helpful to people that are suffering their families to have help in their life.”
The production team is volunteering a lot of their time to make the documentary.
The money raised from the campaign will help with marketing.
Aside from the movie, Gandell has shared his story through different mediums including Spanish television networks and the Steve Harvey show.
Although he has been cancer free for some time, he never forgets about his battle.
“It gets easier sometimes to talk about it unless I am talking to someone who is battling it,” he said. “Its easy to talk to someone who is healthy. Its something I knew I have to do. Only reason I am alive is because am suppose to do what I am doing.”
David Gandell’s Indiegogo page is www.indiegogo.com/projects/cancer-was-a-blessing#