Monday, March 30, 2009

The Best Go WEST

Ever since "Designing Women," I've had a soft spot for folks from Georgia. In college I met one of my best friends, AWC, who is an honest-to-god Georgia peach.

AWC has a big heart and is an ardent supporter of a film called "Darius Goes West." This documentary was conceived, directed, filmed, produced, and edited by AWC's friends from Athens, GA. When I saw the movie I cried throughout, alternating between deep sorrow and intense laughter.

The documentary follows Darius Weems, a teenager who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. DMD is 100% fatal, and took the life of Darius's brother when he was 19; Darius himself is currently 19. He may be both the bravest and the sassiest person you'll ever encounter.

Setting out with the goal of getting MTV to "Pimp" Darius's ride (his motorized wheelchair, to which he is confined), his gang of friends have no choice but to transport Darius's mostly incapacitated body from Georgia to MTV's West Coast studios via van. The documentary movingly captures the highlights of their roadtrip: a post-adolescent boy's first steps into the ocean in Florida, a true teenage night out in New Orleans, Darius's first-ever moments leaving the ground when flying in a hot air balloon over New Mexico. The movie is also a sobering commentary on Darius's degenerating condition, and the pathetic state of handicapped access throughout our country. Fortunately, the film will restore your faith in camaraderie and true friendship. And Darius RAPS. It's BRILLIANT.

I promise this documentary will delight you and move you in ways you cannot expect. Order a copy of the film by clicking here: DARIUS GOES WEST. It will be well worth your while. And the proceeds from the DVD benefit Charley's Fund, established in honor of another DMD victim.

I have been amazed by how many people from my many different walks of life know about and are actively involved in the "Darius Goes West" movement. My aunt-by-marriage's second cousin happened to be researching DMD and discovered Darius's story. I overheard her mention Darius at, of all places, a family WAKE and we realized we were both Darius fans! And a childhood friend of mine, whose parents are from England and ended up in Kansas, went to school in Georgia, and got swept up in the Darius mania there.

What a small, but wonderful, world.

Support the cause today. If you have any interest in hosting a screening of "Darius Goes West," let me know and I'll put you in touch with the DGW crew! We want to drum up as much publicity for this amazing project as possible!

Love to AWC, the best Georgia peach!


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