Pierce Countians Nikki DeLoach and John DuPont are currently working on a film about a young man’s triumph over cancer, a motion picture to be released with the Children’s Miracle Network.
DeLoach is a veteran of the silver and small screen starring in shows such as the People’s Choice Award winning MTV series “Awkward” and some of your favorite Hallmark movies (“Love to the Rescue,” “Love Takes Flight”). Her most recent Hallmark movie entitled “Two Turtle Doves” aired November 1.
DuPont is the longtime radio voice of the Pierce County Bears, a veteran journalist and is currently the Audio/Visual team teacher and advisor at Pierce County High School.
Written and directed by the main character’s older brother, Corey Crumpacker, “White Fire” is based on the true story of a young runner’s battle with bone cancer and his fight to get back to the sport he loves.
The film details Jake Crumpacker and his family’s perseverance through a grueling year of chemotherapy and bone-removal surgery.
DeLoach and DuPont will be associate producers on the film which will be released in connection with Children’s Miracle Network.
“There were many reasons why I wanted to support an artist like Corey and attach myself to this project,” says DeLoach. “For one, I believe in paying it forward. I received so much support from my community as a kid and I want to do the same for others. I also really connected to Corey and Jake’s parents in the script and in life. I know what it’s like to live through a life and death experience with a child. It’s terrifying. It can also be such a beautiful testament to the miracle of life.”
Corey Crumpacker, the film’s director, has been working with DuPont for the last three years to bring hands-on filmmaking education to Pierce County. Through the process they began to discuss working together outside the classroom. Crumpacker’s film production company, Backstory, soon invited DuPont to be an associate producer for the film.
“As soon as I read Corey’s script I thought, ‘We’ve to get this thing in front of Nikki,’” says DuPont. “I remembered the passion she brought to her role as Jim Valvano’s daughter in ‘The Jimmy V Story’ which entailed the famous North Carolina State basketball coach’s valiant battle against cancer. In addition to her obvious on-screen talents, Nikki is now also one of the most talented script evaluators in the industry, so getting her backing on this project was a major endorsement.”
The Crumpacker family received word of the diagnosis in 2010, when Jake was just 13 years old.
“Those first few days were a whirlwind. It felt like you were in a sinking ship and you couldn’t get out,” says Corey Crumpacker. “There was another young boy who had just finished his treatment a few weeks before who visited Jake and my parents in the hospital on Jake’s first night of chemo. He and his parents sat down with us and shared their experience. Their story and encouragement was a lifeline to hope. That’s my goal with this film —to share our story as a lifeline of hope for kids and families living through this right now.”
Backstory, the production company behind the project, has spent the last few years traveling the globe working on projects with Olympic athletes, A-list musicians, and brands like Reebok®, Oreo®, Publix® and many more.
“White Fire” is a passion project for everyone involved and is mostly funded by the Backstory team itself. The production team has launched a Kickstarter project to help with the last portion of funding for the film, a drive that ends November 16. It is an all-or-nothing campaign, so if the project does not reach its fundraising goal they don’t receive any funds.
“Knowing how much our southeast Georgia community has been affected by cancer, I fervently believe this will touch many, many people and infuse much-needed hope for those who are fighting the fight and those that will be fighting the fight,” says DuPont.
Casting for “White Fire” has been going on through October. Shooting will occur from December 5-20 in Tallahassee, FL.
Learn more about and donate to the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whitefire/white-fire-film. You can also view a short documentary entitled “Jake’s Journey” on YouTube. It was produced by Corey Crumpacker in 2011 during the height of his brother’s illness.
“The Crumpacker’s journey is an incredible story that needs to be told. I’m so proud of Corey that he has the courage to tell it and that John and I get to be a part of it,” says DeLoach.