Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carnival of MS Bloggers #136 - When I Walk Special Edition

Welcome to the Carnival of MS Bloggers, a bi-weekly compendium of thoughts and experiences shared by those living with multiple sclerosis.

Note to Readers: Today's special edition of the Carnival is dedicated to getting the word out about a fantastic documentary film maker, Jason DaSilva, who lives with primary progressive MS.  Jason's latest film, When I Walk, premiered with rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival but Jason needs support - financial support - to get the film seen throughout the country.

Our friend, Marc Stecker, has provided an excellent summary and review of the film on his blog.  See Marc's post below.  I also had the privilege to view When I Walk and thoroughly enjoyed it!

More reviews are available on Jason's Kickstarter fundraising page.  While there, be sure to read more about Jason's secondary project, the AXS Map, a free and easy way to rate and review wheelchair accessible places in any neighborhood which is briefly featured in the film.

from Marc Stecker, the Wheelchair Kamikaze

♦ First up, a chance to help a fellow MSer and become a mini movie mogul, all in one fell swoop. Jason DaSilva is a young filmmaker whose work has been seen at film festivals around the world. About eight years ago, at the age of 25, he was struck with progressive MS and decided to turn his camera on himself. His new documentary, When I Walk, chronicles the first seven years of his struggle with PPMS in unflinching fashion, showing the effects of the disease warts and all even as it exposes the heart and soul of the man at the center of the storm. When the film opens, Jason is having some trouble walking; by its end he’s using a scooter full-time, his vision is increasingly affected, and the disease is attacking his hands. In between, we experience the physical and emotional roller coaster of MS as Jason searches for answers and possible cures, and though one might think this would make for gloomy subject matter, the film is an inspiring testament to Jason’s courage, the power of love, and the enduring nature of the human heart. Even as Jason’s body betrays him, he manages to find his soulmate, a woman special enough to love him despite all of the trepidation and uncertainties that come with MS. When I Walk had its premiere at the recent Sundance Film Festival, and received rave reviews (click here).

Here’s the When I Walk trailer:

So, it would seem all is well in When I Walk land, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Though the film got a big reception at Sundance, it really needs to be seen in cities around the country and around the world. It shows the side of MS that the public rarely sees, not the sanitized version most often portrayed on television and in the news media, but the Full Monty of ever advancing disability and its effects on the body and mind, capturing the jumble of emotions of the human being trapped inside an increasingly faulty body.

The realities of independent filmmaking today requires that filmmakers themselves raise the funds needed to get their works onto movie theater screens around the country, and Jason has started a Kickstarter campaign (click here) in an effort to do the necessary fund-raising. Kickstarter is a website allows individuals to contribute as little as one dollar to a wide variety of artistic, altruistic, or business endeavors. Jason’s goal is to raise $27,000 by April 3, and as of this writing has almost $19,000 to go.  He’ll use the funds to do marketing, advertising, and promotion for the film, as well as pay for printing and duplication costs of the film and its trailer.

I don’t think I’ve ever before made a direct plea for financial donations of any kind on Wheelchair Kamikaze, but I was lucky enough to get a chance to preview this film, and it really struck a chord. So please, if you’re able, chip in as little as one dollar to help kickstart When I Walk into a theater near you (click here), and thus help a fellow MSer tell his story and show the world the realities of living with MS and the courage it takes to battle the disease day in and day out. Thanks.

Note that Jason now has less than $11,000 until his goal is reached.  Every dollar counts!!

This concludes the 136th edition of the Carnival.  The next Carnival of MS Bloggers will be hosted here on March 28, 2013. Please remember to submit a post (via email) from your blog of which you are particularly proud, or which you simply want to share, by noon on Tuesday, March 26, 2013.


  1. This sounds like a film that everyone needs to see...raise awareness of MS

  2. It took me a few weeks to watch this film. As I'm sure many of you with MS can relate- it's sometimes hard to see how someone is dealing with challenging, unpredictable disease. It's hard to separate enough - to be inspired by instead of fearful of our uncertain future. Today the day was right for me to do so.. and I'm so glad to have found this window. I've had MS for 25 years (as of the day after tomorrow!) and have dealt with a wealth of challenges. Many of which I feared when I was diagnosed at 20yrs old- and never imagined I could handle. But I've found a way. And like many of us living with these two letters invisibly (and sometimes very visibly) stamped on our foreheads, we manage to get through these everyday obstacles. And people saw how brave we are, and how inspiring we are and we hold our hands up and say "what are my options?"

    Thank you Jason for your oh-so-honest film that documents this oh-so-personal journey. Thanks to Lisa for providing one of the many important resources of information and often a emotional lifts. Both of your efforts (as well as Marc Stecker and Cathy Chester and of course the list goes on) provide the community that gives us a chance to "BE". To be who we are in the context of MS... and to "BE" connected to a lot of other people who "get" who we are. ~

    Amy G (