FaceTime lets families "be there" in difficult times
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Thanks to Apple's FaceTime, Manhattan native, Benjamin Schrader, can "be there" for his cancer-stricken father, Paul Schrader, despite being 3,000 miles away.
FaceTime allows Ben to see and interact with his family and the hospital staff while they make treatment decisions together.
Ben's father was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2009.
"When I speak to him over the phone he'll sound alright sometimes and I know that he's not but he won't let me hear that," Ben said.
His father is in Seattle, Ben is here in Manhattan, an actor in the hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon."
Though he can't be there in person, Ben is still there face-to-face thanks to FaceTime.
Using his laptop and his mother's iPhone, Ben goes along for doctor appointments and chemo sessions with his father.
Today Ben learns they are postponing the chemo, but just for now.
Paul: "The way I'm losing weight right now is not good."
Ben: "What are you at right now?"
Dad: "205, I lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks."
Ben: "When was the last time you weighed 205?"
Dad: "Probably when I was 15-years-old."
Ben says although it's a little weird to be the "guy in the phone", he tries to play an active role, asking the doctors and nurses questions.
And using the phone takes a little getting used to, sometimes parents, like Ben's mom, Ellen Schrader, need a little help.
"Being able to connect with Ben using FaceTime has been tremendous, it's been a real support to me." Ellen said.
Ben's father is also thankful for the new technology, but it isn't always easy.
For FaceTime to work smoothly you need a WiFi connection on both sides and both ends need an Apple device.
The hospital where his father is, the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, now offer free iPads for patients to use to FaceTime with family.
apple, cancer, health news, dr. sapna parikh
- Photos: Bronx River Parkway crash
- AccuWeather Forecast: More Snow On The Way
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- Wintry mix causes slick roads, massive pileup 32 min ago
- NJ Transit cross-honoring tickets system-wide
- Nelson Mandela memorial set for Tuesday in Soweto
- Obama to pay tribute to Mandela in South Africa
- Tough new NYC cockroaches can withstand winter cold
- MTA announces new safety measures after derailment
- Newtown families create website to honor Sandy Hook victims 2 min ago
- Joe Torre elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
- Photos: AccuWeather Forecast in pictures
- Photos: Wintry Mix Hits New York Area 32 min ago
- Wintry mix causes slick roads, massive pileup
32 min ago