As so many other twenty somethings of her time, and the twenty somethings that came before her, Angelina Fanous would wake up each morning with the same panicked question running through her mind. What is happening? From the outside her life was the embodiment of an ultimate urban fantasy. Successful career at one of the most exciting magazines for her generation, VICE, check. Apartment in Williamsburg, check. Youth, beauty, check and check. And yet she realized that she wasn't happy, that the decade she had spent chasing the dream of where she was now, had lead her to a place that she didn't want any more. Then, at 29, after a year of treatments and wishing for it to be anything else, a third specialist confirmed a diagnosis of ALS.
That news shifts Angelina's entire perspective. Not overnight of course, but after packs of cigarettes, an array of mind altering substances and meaningless affairs, she found a way to view her life and her happiness differently. The Art of Dying Young is the story of the time just before, then during, and after her diagnosis?that transformation and devastation told with a wrenchingly honest voice and gripping tone.
The Art of Dying Young is Angelina's attempt to share what her journey has taught her, to inspire others to overcome the same listlessness, the same vague dissatisfaction that can be hard to shake when you're in a pivotal time in life.
Angelina Fanous is a reporter, writer, and producer at VICE. She spent three years on the editors' desk for vice.com, and in the last year has been reporting, hosting, and producing a documentary on the FDA's drug approval process for diseases that have no viable treatment or cure?like ALS and pancreatic cancer. The film will air in January 2016 on HBO as a VICE 'Special Report.' She has written about her ALS diagnosis for both the The New York Times and VICE. When she wrote about the Ice Bucket Challenge right after her diagnosis, the article was shared on Facebook over 125K times. She currently lives in California.