A racing heart

A heart transplant recipient strives to make good on the promise he made to himself back when he was dying, all while connecting with the family who helped give his life a new meaning.


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One liner: Two years post heart transplant, John Dickhout, attempts to keep a promise he made to himself and prove that he was a life worth saving.

Short Synopsis: John Dickhout, a recent heart transplant survivor, attempts to cross the final goal off of his bucket list as a documentary crew follows him on a weekly basis. His goal; to run a 10k in under 60 minutes, and show the progress he has made in the 2 years since his life was saved. While training John regales us with stories about his near death experiences, and his desire to prove himself after a stranger and their family's choice to donate helped to give his life new meaning.

Long Synopsis: John Dickhout, a 55-year-old heart attack survivor, attempts to achieve the final goal on his bucket list: running a 10k in under 60 minutes as a documentary crew follows him on a week by week basis. The documentary opens early in the morning as John begins training, John pulls out his "post transplant to-do-list" and recounts two of the hardest days of his life. The day of his heart attack, and the day his heart stopped beating.

John then visits the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre for his second annual check up, as well as his personal trainer Gavin Dobias for his first training session. On his two visits he speaks about the fateful day he finally decided to register for a heart transplant, and the reason why he decided to write his bucket list.  

The workout session transitions into Adam’s, the heart donor’s, family speaking about John. They begin to tell the story about how John reached out soon after the surgery, and the journey they had to find one and other. 

The film concludes on the day of the race, he speaks about nerves, but also the purpose of the race to him. We see him prepare as he lines up for the race. The cameras accompany him for segments of the run with an interview before and after the race speaking towards the bigger picture. The support of everyone, pushing himself to make his goals, and hope. At this point John reaches the finish line.




Director's statement

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The Car Ride

I had the pleasure of meeting John Dickhout when I casted him in a previous short film I directed. one day I was driving john to set for a photo shoot and we began connecting about how we shared such an uncommon last name. at this time I realized two things: that we were related, and that his golden attitude and positive outlook were extremely contagious. As we continued to speak John opened up about his near death experience, his heart transplant, and his bucket list. When he told me about his journey I was inspired and knew that his story was one that needed to be told. John didn't know this at the time, but as soon as I dropped him off I began calling classmates and preparing the early stages of this documentary. We hope that you are as inspired by this story as I was that fateful car ride.



Early Buzz surrounding John's story

Niagara broadcasting students know a good story when they see one – just take a look at the national coverage one story has picked up.
— Dylan Brennand-McClement
For all the right reasons it was the perfect place to doit,” Dickhout said, crediting the students with the idea to race in Adam’s hometown.
— Jessica Cunha
Featuring triumph against all odds, what you experience at this screening might just change your life!
— Rhode Island International Film Festival
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festival tour

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Flicker's Rhode Island International Film Festival

August 12th - 12:15pm - RISD Museum - Metcalf Auditorium


Simply Shorts: Film School Fallout

August 31st - 7:00pm - 10:00pm - 

Queensland College of Art,  South Brisbane, Australia

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Forest City Film Festival

Between October 25th - 28th
Exact dates and location TBA 


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