Every Other Day

The Rode Lewis Story

Rode Lewis is a working cowboy. He looks the part—sunburned and stoic. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Rode lives with End Stage Renal Disease. Every other day he gets up at around 2am and drives 180 miles for kidney dialysis. This takes him away from his family, but keeps him alive. Rode and his family want to build a home dialysis room. Home dialysis is healthier and would allow him to live longer – long enough to raise his daughters and see his grandchildren. But ranch hands don't make much money. So we made a short film to help raise funds. With zero budget and volunteer labor we put together a small, scrappy promotion campaign — a GoFundMe page and social media to promote the film. We spent months crafting our message, writing stories, and editing film and photos. The universe had other plans. We launched on December 13 at 7am. With only two Facebook posts we began trending on GoFundMe. By late-afternoon that day we met our $20,000 goal. Within three days we raised more than $50,000. Our Facebook reach exceeds 38,000. By showing the Texas ranching culture its own reflection in heroic terms, we touched a nerve. Barn-raising ethos lives on — we affirmed their values of hard work, independence, and caring for their own. Their response was overwhelming.

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