"It’s the disease that most health professionals say they’d least like to get. It’s the most cruel and undignified end."
(Louise Platt, The Plattitude blog, 2008)
This year, on 21 June, in a wee village in Scotland a small group got together to watch a film about a man who dies from Motor Neurone Disease (MND), also known internationally as ALS, ELA, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. At the same time, in a cinema in Mexico City, people were arriving from all over to see the the film, I AM BREATHING. In Russia and Romania, in Kosovo and Kenya, in India and Ireland, in Bahrain and Belgium, in the US and the UK – across the world people volunteered to show the film – in village halls, schools, churches, pubs, and theatres.
These people have been inspired by the story of Neil Platt, who died aged 34, 14 months after being diagnosed with MND/ALS. He was determined more people should know about the disease.
Within a year, he went from being a healthy young father to becoming completely immobile from the neck down. As his body got weaker, he used his remaining months to communicate about his illness. He collaborated with the filmmakers on I AM BREATHING and wrote a blog, determined to play a part in making MND/ALS history by sharing his story and building a community of people to join the fight.
Neil began a campaign –
– a campaign that he expected us all to finish. He wanted to be the poster boy for MND/ALS, he wanted to be on billboards, in every newspaper and across television channels. During the short time that he lived with MND/ALS, he achieved a great deal – but it was really only the beginning...
"At the end of this campaign lies a cure... I am not talking about miraculous cures, you will all have gathered by now that I am a realist. I'm talking about my living a little longer, giving me the chance to impart more knowledge."
(Neil Platt, The Plattitude blog, 2009)
I AM BREATHING has been critically acclaimed since its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in late 2012:
"Intimate documentary examining a normal-but-remarkable man and wife's handling of his fatal disease ranks among the year's most moving films."
(The Hollywood Reporter)
From 21 June 2013, the documentary will burst onto screens big and small across the world. Fuelled by Neil’s vision we will share his story and build a community of people to join the fight – and you should be part of it.