An Open Letter From Christian Mann

LOS ANGELES — Christian Mann, the general manager of Evil Angel and Free Speech Coalition board member, has written an open letter to his industry friends and colleagues.

It is printed in its entirety:

January 30, 2013

My Dear Friends,

As some of you may have heard (especially in the age of social media), I have recently been diagnosed with a type of bile duct/pancreatic cancer called Cholangiocarcinoma. This diagnosis started with a trip to the emergency room on New Year’s Eve when I sought relief for pain in my back and chest. Since then I’ve been tested and subjected to an overwhelming amount of medical procedures. As a common side effect of this type of cancer, I’ve also developed “DVT” — Deep Vein Thrombosis which is a series of blood clots in my left leg. Two weeks ago the DVT delivered me two small pulmonary emboli — one for each lung… Yes, I do love symmetry.

Last Thursday I received my first application of chemotherapy. The current plan calls for me to have four treatments over eight weeks, followed by testing to gauge its success. My current oncologist has told me that surgery and radiation are not options. I am aggressively exploring treatment options at a university in California and a clinic in Arizona who have both had some success in bringing a non-operable patient to surgery.

If you know anything about me, you know that I have a long history of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. My attitude is one of arrogance and audacity, tempered by a humility that mandates an acknowledgement that everything I bring to this fight has been given to me in the form of love and support from my family, friends, co-workers, recovery fellows and a personal relationship with that force that I call my Higher Power.

Despite the serious tone of all this, I can assure you that I’m prepared to lose my hair, but not my sense of humor. Not ever! I have a game plan in place and I’m bolstered by an amazing team that is pushing me forward. We’re in it to win it. Watch me… I will be the example of how this is done, one day at a time. I may have some fear, but fear does not have me.

I’m proud of my sons, my family and especially my better half Melissa, who has been my emotional hostage and a fountain of strength. I intend to make them proud of me.

I’m grateful for this opportunity to be given a budget and an exhortation to use it wisely. I’ve been given a sense of clarity and purpose. Along with this fight, my ambition is to be of service to my loved ones and to fulfill my lifelong fantasy of becoming a writer. I am still active at work and employed by the company I love. I may take a leave at a later time. If that should become the correct move, I would do so. My boss John has stood by me steadfastly — no surprise to anyone who knows him.

Most of all, regardless of the final running time of this yet-unfinished movie, I will waste no time in achieving my first task, namely to tell all of you — collectively and individually — how much I love you and how blessed I am to have you in my life. This is important so that I can complete this step and immediately move to the next step, which is to fight this disease with every fiber of my being. Biblically speaking, David slew Goliath — and as far as I’m concerned, my slingshot is laden with the right ammunition. Like any war, there will be battles won and lost — but I’m confident in my ability to prevail if that’s how it’s meant to be.  This letter is NOT a farewell. It’s an inaugural speech. With any luck at all, I will focus my writing efforts on my blog and book and find a way to be more concise in my future missives.

Filled with laughter and love,

Christian S. Mann