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You Don't Have to Die (1988)

A young boy's successful battle against cancer and his subsequent efforts to help other children overcome their fears of the illness.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Jason Gaes Jason Gaes ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adam Gaes Adam Gaes ... Self
Craig Gaes Craig Gaes ... Self
Geralyn Gaes Geralyn Gaes ... Self
Melissa Gaes Melissa Gaes ... Self
Tim Gaes Tim Gaes ... Self


At age six, Jason Gaes became ill with Burkitt's lymphoma, a form of cancer so fast-developing that a tumor in his abdomen grew from the size of a golf ball to the size of a grapefruit in the time it took to drive across Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic. He talks about the two-year series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and surgery which led to his recovery, and about the book he wrote - illustrated by his older brother Adam and his twin brother Tim - in which he tried to help other children with cancer deal with their fears and other difficulties related to their illness, particularly emphasizing that they could survive. Jason's family, including his parents Craig and Geralyn, also talk about how they dealt with the crisis. Written by scgary66

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Did You Know?


Geralyn Gaes: Riding to the Mayo Clinic is a bit like riding down the side of a mountain in a car with no brakes because you know what lies at the end and there's no way to stop it.
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References The Terry Fox Story (1983) See more »


Slow Marimbas
by Peter Gabriel
Performed by Peter Gabriel
Courtesy of Geffen Records byarrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Excellent tearjerker
13 April 1999 | by eric-144See all my reviews

Excellent film that brought tears to my eyes more then once. It is a documentary of a boy who bravely fought cancer and won. Recommended. See it. You won't forget it.

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Production Co:

Filmworks, Tiger Rose See more »
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