Hello, my name is Wissame. This is my story, so far.
Over the past seven years, I’ve pursued a very simple goal: to link my love for life stories with my active listening skills to produce powerful and inspiring video content.
Since I was 15 years old, people of different ages, backgrounds and social classes come to me and share their personal stories. In a natural way. They just kept coming to me on the bus, in the street, at events. They felt comfortable and indulge themselves easily. And it still happens to me today.
It was not until 2012, when I devoted myself to videos, that I realized that I could easily associate this “gift” with my desire to tell moving stories. I even managed to make it my career . Well, almost.
Solid as a rock.
During the first 29 years of my life, I rarely went to the doctor. Almost never. I felt strong and indestructible.
In May 2015, I set myself a goal: ten years to make a first feature film. It was on my bucket list, written in black and white.
I then had no choice but to work towards this new challenge.
Just one year later, in 2016, I am about to fulfil this wish much faster than I expected: I have two production companies that follow me to produce a crazy story that looks like a Greek mythological tale mixing 2D animation and live camera shots, a distribution company, we also had the crew to shoot it.
Even the poster was ready, to tell you about my level of commitment.
In August 2016, we went filming in Greece the first images of a teaser to ‘attract’ TV channels, private contributors. The project was a very high anticipated budget but in my mind, nothing could stop this project. Nothing and nobody. And yet.
The most difficult period of my life.
All this preparation ended abruptly when in March 2017, just after my return from a commercial shoot in Barcelona, the news is confirmed: I was diagnosed with stage one cancer, threatening to spread in different parts of my body. Everything toppled that day.
The feature film project had to be paused for a few months so that I could focus on my health recovery. After a few months, I could not produce any written document that was really worth anything. I had to refocus on myself and abandon the project a second time.
In June 2018, a report confirms the reappearance of cancer on the lungs this time. I had no choice but to do four cycles of chemotherapy treatment followed by a fairly heavy surgery to eliminate metastases and cancerous residues.
These last two years have been complicated, I have not really been able to produce video content. To be honest, I needed to refocus on myself in order to regain a new momentum, come back stronger and even more motivated.
Any disease of this type makes you aware of the temporality of your existence. This is a fact that we forget when we live our lives. This challenge allowed me to open my eyes to some things that I needed to change in my life in order to get better physically and mentally. It is not a solution to postpone things that need to be done, do them while you have the physical and mental abilities to do so. You never know what tomorrow brings your way.
My son was born in June 2017, three months after my first surgery. I have been lucky ever since to witness this little guy fall and get up a hundred times already. It’s good to remember that we’ve all been there too. That, despite the obstacles, we overcame them one by one, without giving up. Sometimes we all need a good reminder.
From this episode of my life, I developed a mental strength that is helping me deal with all sort of situations.
I lost 30 kg. I went from 125 kg at the age of 29 in March 2017 to 95 kg today, in February 2019. I changed my eating habits, my stress management and added a physical exercise routine. I can say that life has given me a second chance to try to do new things, to do things differently.
Speaking of my experience with friends or family, I was told that strength was emerging from this story, that, it would be valuable for other people to speak up about it and to share it publicly. This is what I intend to do with this article but also, using different media in the coming months and in the coming years, with hope that it will serve a maximum of people.
Do you want to know what the good news is?
I still have six years to reach my 2015 bucket list’s goal: “Make a feature film in 10 years”.
Let’s do everything to make it happen.
Thank you for reading my invisible experience, so far. And you, what is yours ?