BELIEVE in the ‘what-ifs.’
Kate Milliken is a film and television producer and the founder of Milligrace Productions, a company specializing in twelve-to-fifteen-minute personal documentaries that are equal parts This Is Your Life and A&E Biography. Milliken has worked in television for more than fifteen years, beginning as a correspondent for a college cable company focused on reality- based TV, then moving on to cover the world of alternative sports such as snowboarding, mountain biking, and monster trucks for the Outdoor Life Network, Oxygen, Fox Sports Net, TNT, and TNN. She has also been a producer for ABC’s The View and for VH-1, and is the creator and subject of Kate’s Counterpane, a Web-based documentary about her journey of being diagnosed with and battling multiple sclerosis and creator of MyCounterpane.com, a community to help share information and support people with chronic illnesses. She currently resides with her husband and children in New York. (www.milligrace.com; katescounterpane.com; mycounterpane.com)
Within one year, I had three people I know diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, two of them dear friends. In an airport I picked up a Marie Claire that featured an article on Kate and her journey with the disease. I am a big believer in utilizing both traditional Western medicine and complementary healing modalities. My philosophy is, “Whatever works,” which is exactly what Kate seemed to be saying. I clipped the article and emailed links to her website to my friends who have MS. They both called to say that it really helped them. During one of those calls I realized that I should reach out to Kate. We conducted our interview on the phone a few weeks before my book was due. Kate asked me to watch her forty-five-minute film on her site before I wrote about her, and I am so glad I did! The film is innovative, entertaining, informative, moving, and funny—just like her. (But go see it for yourself.) She said she gets at least three calls a week from people who have found the film helpful in thinking about their own journeys with this disease, and her “believe in the what-ifs” exercise has worked wonders in my life. I finally got to film Kate at her beautiful home in Phoenix in September of 2011 and got the wonderful news she’s pregnant with baby #2 and still has no traces of MS symptoms in her life!