In 2007, television, film and social media producer Jen Vargas made a short film for Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  A year later, the economy tanked and so did Jen’s career. Then her mother was diagnosed with stage one uterine cancer.  Jen moved in with her mother and became her full-time caregiver, shepherding her through daily chemotherapy sessions when her mom (Pam) was later diagnosed with breast cancer.  In today’s show Jen tells us what she’s sacrificed for the mom she calls her hero, why she started the #HiPam Twitter campaign and how her mother has inspired others.  She reflects on the value of wandering around big box stores and finding like-minded friends who can help you out, and she tells us where her mom—who is recovering well—needs to be health-wise for Jen to feel comfortable taking a job out of state.  Though Jen’s life is in many ways still on hold, she works on local film productions and has made some short films of her own.  Three years ago, she became the first female Latina host of FilmSlam at Enzian Theater, a monthly competition featuring student, independent, low-budget and no-budget short movies made by Florida filmmakers. Tune in and get inspired.

Jen and her mom, Pam Steib.

 

Jen on Twitter: twitter.com/jenvargas
Facebook page for FilmSlam at Enzian Theater
FilmSlam ticketing: enzian.org
Jen’s short film “Relay For Life: St. Cloud”