When you boil it down, we all have one thing in common: our days are limited. If you found out that you were dying, what would you do with your last days?
This question will linger on your mind after watching “My Last Days,” a documentary series about six motivational individuals who are determined to make the most out of their last days, despite having severe terminal illnesses.
“My Last Days” is a story about life, not death, says host, creator and “Jane the Virgin” star Justin Baldoni.
“We’re telling stories about amazing individuals who are overcoming obstacles, both in their own lives and also the biggest obstacle of death,” Baldoni said during a phone interview with ivoh. “There is not a single person who can’t relate to the stories in ‘My Last Days’. We all pass away and know someone who has passed.”
The team searched through blogs and social media to find the individuals whose stories are shared in “My Last Days.”
The people featured in “My Last Days” are: cystic fibrosis patient Claire, who created a foundation to support people who live with and are affected by the disease; gospel singer Kendrick, whose rare sleep apnea disease has inspired him to use his talents to heal and comfort people; “Darth Vader,” who continues to complete half-marathons and Tough Mudder competitions, despite battling leukemia for the last 14 years; Jess, who is determined to stay strong while facing brain cancer that has left her unable to speak or move her right side; Kat, who pushes herself to live life adventurously while battling stomach cancer; and Isabel, who is motivated to research and build awareness around her rare medical condition named Mucopolysaccharidosis VI.
We hope that “My Last Days” is a reminder to viewers to make each day count, Baldoni said.
“Wake up. Don’t procrastinate,” Baldoni said. “Don’t wait until the last minute to be the person you want to be and to have a positive impact on the world. Do it now.”
While growing up in the Baha’i faith, Baldoni would often think about life, death and his own mortality. In his early twenties, Baldoni’s uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer. Baldoni saved up his money and was able to be by his uncle’s side to help him prepare for the impending event.
When his uncle passed away Baldoni was profoundly affected by the experience, especially since it was his first interaction with someone who was dying. Baldoni ultimately gained a new perspective on the meaning of death.
Six years later, Baldoni felt like he wasn’t fulfilling his life’s purpose.
“I had a big spiritual shift in my mid-20s when I realized that I wasn’t actually being of service in the way that I was raised,” Baldoni said. “I sat down one night and what literally came through me was the title ‘My Last Days’, a documentary series about life told by the dying.”
After collaborating with a media company called SoulPancake, the first season of “My Last Days” was created in 2013. What started off as an idea that some were concerned nobody would watch, turned out to be one of the most watched documentaries on YouTube with over 14 million views to date.
With the success of the first season of “My Last Days,” Baldoni was inspired to create his own production company called Wayfarer Entertainment.
At Wayfarer Entertainment, our core mission is to help you remember, says Baldoni.
“We create moments to help you remember you are alive and breathing,” Baldoni said. “Remember to help, to inspire, to love and to open our eyes to opportunities in the world.”
One of Baldoni’s biggest concerns is how people are watching content on television and online that focuses on negativity, fear and hatred. As a Baha’i, Baldoni has found that the way to improve a problems-focused media can be found in what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.”
With this in mind, Baldoni is determined to create content through Wayfarer Entertainment that motivates people to want to make a difference in the world.
“We should watch stuff that makes us do better and be the best we can be,” Baldoni said. “Media can’t change the world, but it can open the hearts of viewers.”
Baldoni’s creation of “My Last Days” has inspired the launch of a new digital channel, CWGOOD, which will offer extended episodes of “My Last Days”. CWGOOD will also highlight the purpose-driven work and causes that CW stars and fans of the network care about. It will ultimately feature content that is meant to entertain and inspire.
“The idea is leveraging The CW Network of celebrities to give back,” Baldoni said. “We need to shift the business model and turn it into a giving model where you can do well and give back.”
“My Last Days” will premiere on Wednesday, August 17 at 9 p.m., and conclude on Friday, August 19 on The CW Network. The first season of “My Last Days” is also available online.
A Go Fund Me campaign was also created so viewers can give back and help pay for the medical expenses for the people in “My Last Days”.