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Cast: Steve Dezember, Hope Dezember
HOPE FOR STEVE follows two and a half years in the life of Steve Dezember. At age 28, he has a girlfriend he loves, Hope, and big plans for the future; he has even saved enough money to buy a home and start a family. But suddenly his whole world is upended when he is diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurodegenerative illness for which there is no cure. Knowing that he may have little time left, Steve proposes to his girlfriend of six months. They marry two months later and start to cram in as much living as possible - including cross-country road trips - while Steve can still walk, talk, eat and breathe on his own.
HOPE FOR STEVE is more than a story about a disease; it is a triumphant love story of two people who continue to battle against fate. The film follows them from the initial diagnosis through their first two years of marriage, chronicling the unimaginable challenges of ALS, not least of which is the financial strain put on the couple (Hope gives up her job to care for Steve full time; benefit concerts and other fund-raising events are held in his honor). Throughout the film, Hope and Steve display an undiminished spirit and thirst for adventure despite Steve's ever-declining health. The film reveals their journey, struggles and beliefs and their desire to spread awareness about ALS through their organization, Hope for Steve.
"I think the most important trick is to stay happy," says Steve. "You have to have something to live for and you gotta want to live."
"Hope For Steve" is the perfect title for a documentary about Steve Dezember's battle with ALS but Hope is also the name of his beautiful and equally courageous wife. Hope has been by Steve's side since he was diagnosed with this horrible disease in 2011 at the age of 28. The film briefly touches on Steve's childhood and Hope's as well, then it tells us how the two met and how Steve proposed to Hope after six months and right after he found out about his disease. He told her at the time that if she wanted to walk away he would understand but that thought never entered her mind.
After getting married the two of them created a bucket list of things they wanted to do while Steve was still able to walk, eat and breathe on his own. The film shows them on their numerous adventures together as they took full advantage of the time they had together.
As of today Steve is battling ALS and Hope is right by his side like she has been from the beginning. "Hope For Steve" is a documentary about one man's battle with ALS but the film is also something else. It is one of the greatest love stories ever told. The love Steve and Hope share doesn't happen all that often so well the story if tragic and heartbreaking it is also inspirational and beautiful at the same time. As I watched the film, I became a little jealous, jealous of not knowing Steve the way his close friends know him, to know him and call him a friend must be something special.
May is ALS awareness month and what better way to educate people and get them to help in finding a cure for this horrendous disease then to release "Hope For Steve" on VOD May 3. It is pretty easy to feel sorry for Steve while watching the film but that isn't what the movie is about and it certainly isn't what Steve wants. The story of Steve and Hope as they battle ALS together is here to help create awareness and to get others involved in helping to find a cure.
You can find out more about ALS and how you can join in the fight by visiting the ALS site HERE. You can also keep up with Steve and Hope as they continue on by visiting the "Hope For Steve" web site HERE.
If I learned anything from this film besides how horrible ALS is it would be to live life to its fullest and never waste a moment of it on the little things. I pray for Steve and Hope and I am grateful to them for sharing their story with everyone. I cannot recommend seeing this film enough.
Released by Virgil Films & Entertainment
***** Out Of *****