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‘Not A Statistic’ Documentary Shines Light on Family’s Journey Against Mitochondrial Disease

Documentary premiere Event in Franklin, Tenn., benefits charitable fund to help others

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the face of the often challenging reality of raising a child with special needs, Ellen and Michael Hollis don’t allow time for sulking. This attitude is captured in the new documentary film, “Not A Statistic,” which profiles the Hollis. Their two-year-old son, Hunt, suffers from mitochondrial disease, a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fail to produce enough energy for cell or organ function.

The 36-minute documentary premiered to a sold out crowd on Thursday, March 14, 2013, at the Franklin Theatre. Visit www.TeamHunt.org to view the trailer.

As Hunt’s illness is associated with slow growth and developmental delays, he receives feeding, speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Despite the hurdles, the Hollis family does all they can to make sure he’s happy and full of life.

Now “Not A Statistic,” by filmmaker Shelby Hadden, will shed light on the family’s daily challenges with the disease, their fight to find a cure and their passion to make a difference.

The documentary premiere event benefited The Hunt Michael Hollis Fund, a charitable fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which works to improve the quality of life for children who live with mitochondrial disease by supporting therapy programs and raising awareness and money to help find a cure.

“We hope this documentary raises awareness about mitochondrial disease and educates our community about the challenges and opportunities of raising a child with special needs,” said Ellen. “Hunt is such an inspiration to us, and it’s important we do everything we can to shed light on mitochondrial disease and try to find a cure.”

The idea for the film started when Hadden, a telecommunication and film major at the University of Alabama, received a class assignment in Fall of 2011 to write a treatment for a potential documentary. Hadden’s mother, Meggin, told her about the Hollis’ story, after meeting the family while training at the same Franklin fitness facility.

After interviewing Ellen about Hunt about their family’s journey, Hadden’s professor approved the story idea. In June 2012, Hadden began filming the family’s every step. She accompanied them at Hunt’s doctor appointments, his rigid therapy schedule and during everyday tasks such as running errands.

“As a documentary filmmaker, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” said Hadden. “Ellen and Mike graciously brought me into every aspect of their lives as they raised Hunt.”

Hadden finished filming with approximately 37 hours worth of footage, which she edited down.

Hadden remarked about the family’s optimistic attitude in the face of the uphill climb. “They are an exceptional case. It’s inspiring to see people who would take something so difficult, yet remain positive and do great things.”
For more information about “Not A Statistic,” contact Ellen Hollis with The Hunt Michael Hollis Fund at ellenbaumhollis@comcast.net or 615-260-5836, or visit www.TeamHunt.org.