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Theatre Production: Handle with Care?

Since October 1998 "Handle with Care?" has been touring cancer centres across Ontario. The response of community and health professional audiences has been overwhelmingly positive. Survivors, their families and friends, volunteers in cancer organizations and others, inspired by the play's hope and humour, have discovered new ways to help one another. Although "Handle with Care?" is a dramatic presentation about what women with metastatic breast cancer have to face, many in the audience have commented on its relevance for anyone living with a serious disease.

"Being only twenty-three and diagnosed with [a serious disease], this has helped me," wrote one person. Mary Sue Douglas, well known to the Bayview Support Network, has worked on the project, a collaboration of Toronto-Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre and Ryerson Polytechnic University's Act II Studio, almost from the start. As Magda the Magician, a character she portrays in the play, she challenges the audience to see "the real me", instead of the cancer diagnosis.