STACY TITLE, A HERO’S JOURNEY

Dignity, Purpose
and Love

When ALS attacks a valued member of our community, we do our best to help because that’s what family does.

STACY TITLE, A HERO’S JOURNEY

Dignity, Purpose
and Love

When ALS attacks a valued member of our community, we do our best to help because that’s what family does.

SERVICES HIGHLIGHTED IN THIS STORY: HEALTH INSURANCE > FINANCIAL SERVICES >

In August of 2017, director-producer-writer Stacy Title was rear-ended in a car accident. That collision became the catalyst for a series of events with devastating effects. “I didn’t know much of anything about MPTF at the time,” says Jonathan Penner, Stacy’s husband. “I mean, why would I? I never needed this kind of help.”

After the car accident, something was seriously wrong with Stacy’s foot. With an array of doctors and tests, they found the car accident may have been the trigger for ALS, a neurodegenerative and fatal disease in Stacy’s system. It would then move at a “terrifying speed.” By March she couldn’t walk. By September of the following year, she couldn’t talk or swallow; she was on a feeding tube and a ventilator.

Stacy Title and Jonathan Penner met and fell in love in New York in the ’80s. They soon made their way to LA and enjoyed a lucrative career doing what they loved: writing, producing, acting, and directing for stage, features and television. They raised a family in Los Feliz. Jonathan was widely known from three seasons on Survivor, and Stacy was getting ready to direct an independent dark comedy.

“…at a “terrifying speed.”  By March she couldn’t walk.”

– JONATHAN PENNER

Director StacyTitle (centered) on the set of The Bye Bye Man in 2015. ©Brian Douglas

“…at a “terrifying speed.”  By March she couldn’t walk.”

– JONATHAN PENNER

Director StacyTitle (centered) on the set of The Bye Bye Man in 2015. ©Brian Douglas

Once they had the ALS diagnosis, Jonathan immediately set out looking for help for the family in navigating this next chapter. At MPTF he found welcome arms and trained palliative care professionals ready to provide assistance in a wide range of crucial ways. “It’s stunning what they have done for us,” Jonathan extols. MPTF’s Palliative Care program (which includes a licensed palliative care physician, a social worker, a nurse practitioner, and a chaplain) helps sort out insurance issues, advocates for their rights, provides support in identifying skilled nursing coverage, and helps in making their three-story house safer. MPTF even researched and helped secure an “extraordinary hospital bed that has been a lifesaver.”

The journey has been difficult and exhausting. The disease itself moved so quickly that it robbed Stacy of many of her physical capabilities in just weeks. Jonathan remarks with glowing praise, “Stacy is determined to keep working, doing the things she loves.” She recently directed two ALS PSAs and is currently working on an exciting directing project. Some, however, were quick to distance themselves. Stacy’s Twitter feed speaks to her frustration,

“The professional rejection I have battled for 25 years, as a female, pales in comparison to what I now face.” She goes on to ask that the industry “begin hiring not only without regard of sex, race and age, but also of disability.”

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