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Ken Burns Documentary Featuring Emily Whitehead Airs This Week

Four Diamonds child Emily Whitehead was the first in the world to receive a CART-19 T-Cell Transplant and has now been cancer free for three years. The Emily Whitehead Foundation was started in January, which raises funds for pediatric cancer research in an effort to see more success stories like Emily’s.

It was reported in 2014 that Whitehead would be filmed for a Ken Burns documentary series. The documentary will begin airing tonight at 9 p.m. on WPSU or your local PBS station. The documentary is based on and named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It will go through the history of cancer treatment before bringing it back to the present and even discussing what the future holds. To do this, the documentary will be broken into three two-hour episodes.

Whitehead’s story will be featured in the ‘future’ portion of the documentary, as the experimental T-Cell therapy is regarded as a potentially widespread way for cancer to be treated in the future. Her story will be featured on Wednesday for the second installment of the three-part series in an episode titled “Finding the Achilles Heel.”

The documentary crew spend three days with the Whiteheads in 2014 and even accompanied the family to THON, although that footage did not make the final cut for the documentary. You can watch the trailer here. And don’t forget to tune in tonight at 9 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to get the full story.

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About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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