Director's Statement

As an ulcerative colitis sufferer, fecal transplant had been on my radar for years. But when I broached it with my gastroenterologist I was immediately shut down. “We simply don’t have enough research yet” he responded, while writing me prescriptions for the less-than-effective drug regimen I’d been on for nearly a decade. As with many of my doctor appointments, I walked away with no real answers to my burning questions, and no new options for getting myself out of an on-going cycle with this chronic illness. I was determined to find out more about this promising new treatment and if I didn’t have my doctor’s support, I was willing to go it alone.

This  film does not shy away from the difficult reality of what it means to be a person living with a chronic illness. Themes of love and caregiving, guilt and shame, are all touched upon.

“Microbiome” is the hot medical buzz word of the moment, and Designer $hit provides a first person perspective on this scientific breakthrough to an increasingly curious audience. I was recently invited to speak about the subject on the CNN podcast “Chasing Life” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  There are currently 416 active clinical trials studying the potential of fecal transplants in the treatment of various diseases ranging from inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, autism, bi-polar depression, cancer and COVID.

The scale and scope of microbiome research is not only attracting the interest of scientists and big pharma but also entrepreneurs who see the potential in this burgeoning industry. In the end, our goals with this film are to give a voice to those suffering from chronic illnesses and to help alleviate some of the shame and embarrassment around something we all deal with everyday.