(From left to right) Erica Lupinacci, Selma Sulejman, Leonard Blades, Allie Cashe, and others attending Trust Me, I’m Sick.
“Is this all I am? Am I just a sick person?” Henriette, Trust Me, I’m Sick.
CUNY’s Abilities and Resources Committee recently hosted an exclusive sneak peek of the documentary film Trust Me, I’m Sick from Arlo Pictures. The documentary shares the intimate stories of five people living with chronic health conditions. Their relationships, careers, and expectations for the future are challenged because their illnesses are unseen.
In the film we meet Cassandra, a woman living with Lupus. As she starts a new career, she faces her challenges with great courage but admits “I look a lot better than I feel.”
Erica Lupinacci and Allie Cashe are the co-founders of Suffering the Silence, an organization using the power of art, media, and storytelling to raise awareness of people living with chronic illnesses and disability. They worked with Arlo Pictures to create the film because “representation in media is lacking, and when it is shown, people are not shown having full lives.”
Selma Sulejman and Leonard Blades, SPS graduate students and co-chairs of the SPS Abilities and Resources Committee co-sponsored the event with the CUNY Coalition of Students with Disabilities (CCSD).
Many of the event’s attendees could directly identify with the film. During the discussion that followed, Brandy, a woman with rheumatoid arthritis, said: “doctors didn’t believe my parents and said I was lying, which led to my blindness.” Others were appreciative that the film “gives understanding to the experience of chronic illness” and one man encouraged all to “live confidently and not to pity.”
“Representation [of disabilites] in media is lacking, and when it is shown, people are not shown having full lives.”Erica Lupinacci and Allie Cashe, Founders of Suffering the Silence
In the film, a mother learned “all I have to do is believe her and trust her.”
This October, the SPS Abilities and Resources Committee is organizing two events in observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
- Closing the Gap: An Evening of Discussions on Diversity and Inclusive Hiring Initiatives (6-
8pm, Thursday, October 17 in Room 407).
- A Disabilities Redefined documentary film screening with filmmaker Truett Vaigneur (6-
8pm, Wednesday, October 30 in Room 407).