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When confronted with a life-altering trauma or debilitating obstacle, how precisely does a person survive? And what role does hope play in one's survival? The narrative arc of this film revolves around a workshop led by 33-year-ALS-Survivor Mariah Gladis and twelve everyday high-functioning citizens, each of whom is dealing with a different life-altering trauma - divorce, job loss, neglect, childhood sexual abuse, alcoholism, and the death of a parent or child.

The audience will have the opportunity to witness deep moments of the human struggle while identifying with a person's capacity to change. Those watching will have a chance to renew their hope for making changes in their personal lives while witnessing the capacity of a diverse group of people to transcend differences and help one another. The style of the film makes a consistent effort not to interrupt the action and allows it to play out in its natural capacity.

The parallel pressing social matter confronted in this film is the journey of caregiving. In America alone, more than 65 million people, representing 29% of the U.S. population provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year (AARP, 2009). Chronic battles embody one of the strictest challenges of our generation, and this documentary provides a story with global relevance to the core of our population.


Mark Putnam, M.D.

Medical Director: Department of Psychiatry at St. Joseph Medical Center


Dori Middleman, M.D.

Founder: Center for a Healthy World


Leo McCluskey, M.D.

Medical Director: ALS Association Center at Penn Medicine


Clemens Pietzner

President: Triskeles Foundation



Gordon Wheeler

President: Esalen Institute


Ken Duckworth, M.D.

Medical Director: National Alliance on Mental Illness


Patty Hillkirk

Founder: Camp Dreamcatcher


Scott Dillman

Founder: Fighting Back


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