Teenagers and young adults with chronic and rare diseases are often acutely aware of how their conditions make them different. That point can be made painfully clear by classmates and others who may avoid or bully them. Filmmaker Lisa Hedley and behavioral therapist Michelle Kupfer, both mothers raising children of difference, created Difference Diaries after a chance meeting. Through short films made by young adults with chronic and rare conditions, they are working to, as their tagline says, inspire, teach, and engage. We spoke to Kupfer about Difference Diaries, its origins, and the impact it is having.


RARECast is a weekly series by Daniel S. Levine. Levine is an award-winning business journalist who has reported on the life sciences, economic development, and business policy issues throughout his 25-year career. He founded Levine Media Group in 2013, which produces The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts. Read his full bio here. 

1 thought on “RARECast: Tearing Down Differences with Film”

  1. I am a retired school counselor. When I was working I often used videos or other means to let children know if their classmate was dealing with a difficult condition. This was always done with the permission of the child’s parent and the child. One of the best resources I used was a video about kids with Tourette’s Syndrome. It can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPmpIY7XJVE. After everyone knew why my student acted “different” at times, they were able to accept him and his Tourette’s actually lessened as a result of less peer pressure.

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