A Johns Creek couple is putting up a brave fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.
They chronicled the first 2 years of that fight, and now, they are revealing it to the world in a groundbreaking documentary film. And 31-year-old Steve Dezember was diagnosed with ALS on August 10, 2011.
In less than three years, it has taken over his entire body. But Steve and his wife, Hope stay positive. Their love story is perhaps as inspiring as their determination. "When we first started dating he was having some health problems," said Hope. It started with weakness in his hand, then moved to the other hand. "It took him falling at work, twice in one week, and I was like, you really need to go get looked at," she said. The couple went to multiple doctors because they didn't believe the diagnosis they were getting: ALS. Steve was only 28. "He got diagnosed and then proposed two days after," said Hope.
The couple decided early on they were going to make the best of the situation. They traveled. Laughed. And enjoyed life to the fullest.
But ALS, a terminal neurodegenerative disease, progresses quickly through the body.
In the documentary, Steve says "It's hard most days to get out of bed. Despite that, my spirit is not broken and I will not let my quick deterioration discourage me from staying positive."
His weight dropped to a staggering 84 pounds. He is paralyzed and can no longer breathe or eat on his own. He cannot speak, and uses a technology to communicate.
The first two years of the process was documented for the film. People in the community, who were inspired along the way, joined in to help with the filming and creative process. Local musician Gareth Asher says he fell in love with the Dezembers and their story. He co-wrote and produced original songs for the film. "Being a musician...if my music helps tell their story in any way or helps get it out there to more people, then I feel like that's a blessing," said Asher.
The purpose of the documentary is to bring awareness to the disease. And although there is no cure now, the couple says they hope one day soon -- there will be.
Until then, they'll continue to fight.
The film premiers on June 1, 2014 at the Buckhead Theatre.
Learn more about the couple's story and purchase tickets here: http://www.hopeforstevefilm.com/