UCO Film Screened by Silicon Valley Company and Watched in 87 Countries

In Philanthropy by UCO

For the past three years, we have collaborated with the Just Breathe Foundation – a 501(C)3 non-profit organization providing funds to applicants struggling with the financial hardships of cystic fibrosis in Western New York.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited life-threatening genetic disease that affects the respiratory system, digestive system, and all areas of the body that have a mucous membrane. Although there are multiple effects of the disease, repeated lung infections, a chronic cough that produces thick mucus, and the feeling of being always short of breath are common. To learn more about cystic fibrosis, visit Just Breathe’s page: What Is Cystic Fibrosis?.

To increase exposure and awareness for cystic fibrosis, we funded and produced a short film called Three Lives. At the surface, the film highlights the lifestyles of three individuals diagnosed with the disease. Much deeper, it’s a relatable metaphor to the dichotomy of life and its connection to the meaning of a breath. The core of Three Lives seeks to explore this essence of life (pain versus pleasure) where cystic fibrosis is a means of just emphasizing the pain we all go through.


On March 3, 2016, Three Lives screened at Counsyl Inc.’s annual company meeting in San Diego, CA. Counsyl is a DNA testing and genetic counseling service located in Silicon Valley. Their mission is to make genetic testing widely accessible and affordable to families.

In 2010, Counsyl won The Wall Street Journal’s Innovation Award in medicine for its simple, low-cost genetic test that can alert prospective parents who might be carrying genes that could cause hereditary diseases in their children. In 2015, the company was recognized by MIT as the 5th smartest company in the United States and honored by Goldman Sachs for entrepreneurship at the Builders + Innovators Summit. Counsyl has also been recognized by various news sources, such as Fast Company, New York Times, Mashable, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Tech Crunch, and ABC World News for its innovative affordable health technologies.

Each year, Counsyl hosts a patient speaker at their meeting to tell a personal story. This serves to remind Counsyl employees about why they joined the team and as a inspiration for them to do better. This year, the event featured Three Lives. Following the film screening, cast member Kori Tolbert Skyped in to share what it’s like to live with cystic fibrosis and how she overcomes the challenges associated with the disease.Kori had planned to give the talk in person, but she had a few health setbacks that prevented her from getting on a plane. She explained that the uncertainty of day-to-day health challenges is a part of living with CF. “[Overall], the film was received really well,” expressed Tolbert. “They clapped for a long time after that. I had to wait a good amount of time before I spoke…I so wish I was there to see it with my eyes, but I did feel it with my heart.”

According to Shivani Nazareth, Director of Women’s Health at Counsyl, she states, “The film was a great reminder of why we do what we do at Counsyl. We often talk about cystic fibrosis when dealing with physicians and patients, but most of us have never really been immersed in the life of a person with the disease. The film Three Lives portrayed a very honest depiction of the realities of CF and helped put faces to the disease.” She continued by saying, “The film had a unique ability to transcend CF and really speak to any sort of challenge that we as humans face in our lives. It was super relatable, and in fact, there was not a dry eye in the room.”

At this event, we are proud to say that Three Lives and Kori received two standing ovations from over 200 attendees – all of whom work daily to educate physicians about the importance of empowering patients with genetic information.

To see Kori’s full talk at the national conference, watch below:


As of today, Three Lives has been requested for screening by foundations all over the country, including North Carolina, Florida, Montana, California, New Jersey, and New York with DVD’s sold in various towns and cities (purchased at threelives.film). We had six radio stations in South Dakota request to talk about the film on-air and post on their websites. Through the power of Facebook alone, the film has been digitally shared almost 1,600 times and liked 3,400 times in nearly every U.S. state and 87 countries – reaching every continent except Antartica.

After the U.S., the top five countries to watch the film were the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy, and Ireland, respectively.

Proud to be a part of the short film "Three Lives-A Film about Cystic Fibrosis created by the incredibly talented team...

Posted by Elvio Fernandes on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This is a beautiful short piece to help raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Watch and learn. Well done, UCO Media. Satchel Jake Levin

Posted by Jamie Lissow on Thursday, December 31, 2015

In the U.S. alone, this is how viewers have responded after watching Three Lives:

  • “This is a POWERFUL short documentary on living with CF. Worth a few minutes if for no other reason than to realize how effortlessly you breathed while you watched it.” – Pennsylvania

  • “PLEASE WATCH!! It’s ONLY 12 min out of your day. It’s 24/7 for others and a life time for parents and siblings!! We Miss You Cassidy Dubree!!” – Kentucky

  • “Such a wonderful tribute. So touching to hear real people’s stories. Now I must dry my tears.” – Rochester, New York

  • “I cried through that whole video! I would have taken years off my own life so that my sister could have lived to 36!! I miss her everyday.” – Ohio

  • “Beautiful and powerful…….Just Breathe…” – Idaho

  • “Even if you don’t know someone with Cystic Fibrosis, watch this beautiful short film. It will inspire you. Guaranteed.” – Maine

  • “Happy tears :,) so beautifully done” – Florida

  • “Check out this awesome short film “Three Lives,” produced by UCO Media through the Just Breathe Foundation!” – Michigan

  • “Everyone should watch this. It’s such a huge inspiration”
    – New York, New York

  • “This was amazing. #justbreathe” – Georgia

  • “I cried through that whole video! I would have taken years off my own life so that my sister could have lived to 36!! I miss her everyday.” – Ohio

  • “Beautiful. I’m especially moved by, “I’m [name]. I currently living with CF.” There is always hope for tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.” – California

  • “This is a beautiful short piece to help raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Watch and learn. Well done, UCO Media.” – Alaska

  • “Just. Wow. Please never take breathing for granted. Please pray for CF (and asthma) sufferers.” – Texas


On December 19, 2015, Three Lives debuted and received a standing ovation at the 6th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Christmas Ball at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. The Cystic Fibrosis Christmas Ball is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness for CF and funds for the Just Breathe Foundation. This special event is one of the largest galas in the Greater Rochester Area with more than 500 attendees each year. This year, UCO assisted the foundation in raising approximately $100,000.

At the event, we erected an exhibit with interactive boards, a cast and crew showcase, and sold DVD’s (pictured above and below). The interactive boards allowed attendees to answer why they breathed by taking a rubber band and connecting the center nail to the appropriate word that resonated most. As expected, the interactive boards engaged and connected nearly all attendees at this event. The rubber bands at first created the design of a snowflake (purposely for the Christmas ball) and then turned into an incredible geometric design, again emphasizing interconnectivity among all people.

To expand and extend the interconnectedness, all throughout the month of March, the interactive boards were erected at Canandaigua National Bank in Webster, NY engaging the community. Moving forward, we have several other locations around the Greater Rochester Area agreeing to post the boards in the near future.

We are incredibly humbled by all those who supported our project and want to continuously say thank you for all those involved. The short film’s purpose is to be used as a tool for the CF community to help spread awareness for the disease. As one can see, we’re putting it to good use.