WSJ: A Mother’s Last Gift to Her Children May Be a Legacy Video

Just So You Know, Thru My Eyes Are Nonprofits That Create Legacy Videos at No Cost to Patients

The day Michelle Wallace gave birth to her fourth child, her doctors discovered she was suffering from an advanced case of endometrial cancer.

Ms. Wallace worried she was going to die before her newborn son, Toby, grew up. “Her biggest fear was that he was not going to remember her,” says Kallie Greenly, Ms. Wallace’s adult daughter. So before she died in 2011 at age 43, Ms. Wallace recorded a 17-minute video for her son, talking about her life, her idea of happiness and how she wanted to be remembered.

It is a step more terminally ill patients are taking these days, either on their own or with the help of nonprofit groups specializing in what are called “legacy videos.” Just So You Know, the group that recorded Ms. Wallace’s footage, offers its services free to patients at hospitals and cancer-patient conferences. Another nonprofit group, Thru My Eyes, records videos free in patients’ homes.

“I think there’s a sense of relief” for patients who make the videos, says Danielle Gagner, a physician assistant at White Plains Hospital in New York who helps guide breast-cancer patients through treatment. “I think they feel they’ve left something for their family members, so they’re at peace with that.”

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