Energy, exercise, family time and even a job—those are the real-life costs of myasthenia gravis (MG) highlighted in Argenx’s new docuseries about the autoimmune disorder.
The three films focus on three different people with MG who were originally scheduled for professional filming. However, the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled those plans. That’s when the patients and their family members picked up their own cameras.
“Just like they adapt and change and are resilient with their disease, they did the same thing in filming this,” Argenx Chief Operating Officer Keith Woods said.The series, called “A Mystery to Me,” features fitness instructor Vanetta, firefighter Glenn and dance instructor Teresa—three patients who share personal details and stories around discovery, diagnoses and daily life.
A trailer for the series is out now, with the online premiere set for a Nov. 17 debut on Argenx’s MG United website. The 20-minute documentary about Vanetta has already been chosen as a local short film in the upcoming Chicago International Film Festival.
Director Ben Strang and production company Sarofsky Films pored over the hundreds of hours of footage sent by the patients and their families to piece together the finished movies.
The docuseries process began with more than 100 people with MG who were interested in participating.
While the three people featured all have MG, their stories are so different because the unseen disease impacts everyone differently, Woods noted.
“No two patients are alike, whether it’s experiencing symptoms differently or receiving different treatments," he said, adding, "what it takes from you is different.”
Argenx hopes the films educate not only the MG community but also the general public and healthcare professionals about the serious impact of the often hidden and difficult-to-diagnose disease.