I've have had multiple sclerosis for 37 years. There were times when the terror of neurological dysfunction seemed almost too great to bare. At the same time, I saw a well-orchestrated campaign by euthanasia/assisted suicide advocates selling the false idea of so-called 'death with dignity' to the public, politicians and the media. I wanted life with dignity! Death with dignity is not achieved by injecting someone with poison when they are at their lowest point. That is abandonment not dignity. Death with dignity is not an event, it is a process, the conclusion of having lived with dignity.
Through my own tears and sorrow of adult-onset degenerative disability, I asked God what He wanted me to do with my situation? He told me not to focus on my own increasing disability but to reach out with a message. What was the message? Every life is sacred and deserves to be loved, cherished and protected — even if they have ceased to believe that — especially when they have ceased to believe it! And so, I began to take that message to anyone who would listen, and wherever God opened doors. Boy, did He open doors!
For more than 20 years, I spoke across North America—from Victoria to Prince Award Island in Canada, Boston to Los Angeles in the U.S., from Whitehorse in Canada's Yukon to New Orleans. I spoke in small towns and big cities, to schools and universities, community groups and churches, politicians and government committees. As time passed, travel became increasingly difficult as my disability worsened. Eventually, travelling became so difficult I had to retire from speaking. Then, something else began to weigh on me.
I felt led to write an autobiographical feature length screenplay about my life. I called it TRANSCEND: A Journey Toward Love. Although it deals with abortion, it is not a story about abortion. Yes, it deals with severe disability, but it is not primarily about disability. It obviously deals with euthanasia and assisted suicide, but it is not a story about those things either. TRANSCEND is a love story, the heartbreak and transcending love story of my wife, LaRee, and I, spanning half-a-century as we slowly and painfully gained an ever deepening understanding of love (both human and divine). With God's help, our love transcended our circumstances.
Then something wonderful happened. I prayed—as I had so often done throughout the years—that if it be God's will, could He raise me from the electric wheelchair I had been in for 16 years. I prayed that if it was His will that He would let me walk again and regain the use of my right arm and hand. It would be enough; even for a short time, even if I needed canes or a walker. In His loving providence, God did raise me out of my wheelchair and walk—albeit on weak and atrophied legs. He returned the use of my arm and hand. I've been walking for close to two years. I hadn't been able to hold anything in my right hand for a quarter of a century, so I began to pen love letters (I'm right handed) each day to my wife. But I had already finished the screenplay.
The film industry is hard to break into, particularly for an old man who's never written a screenplay. Most producers won't give an unsolicited screenplay a second glance, and it was no different for me.
Fortunately, a man who has been involved in Hollywood's movie industry read the script. Frank Eik liked it so much he wants to see it made into a movie. He sent the screenplay to a professional script reader in Hollywood for a critique. He helped me make recommended alterations, corrections and edit the script to tighten the story line and give it some "polish." Mr. Eik will now present TRANSCEND: A Journey Toward Love to a Christian movie producer he knows in Hollywood for consideration. The Director of Content for Pure Flix, a Christian movie streaming service, has also asked to read the script. Will it be made into a movie? I don't know.
I believe LaRee's and my story is worthy and unique, but I'm biased. If not, the exercise was educational and cathartic for me. That's worth something.
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