Live with purpose. Love with purpose.

2016 | Color | 1 Hr 50 Min | Documentary | R | Amazon

Director: Clay Tweel (as J. Clay Tweel)

Writer: Clay Tweel (as J. Clay Tweel)

Steve Gleason
Mike Gleason
Scott Fujita
Michel Varisco-Gleason

After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.

Beautiful, brilliant, sad, heart warming!

This movie is going to be a little hard for me to write about. I have dedicated 30 years of my life to MDA I have seen the good times fade to dark times more than I wish to remember. I have said goodbye to so many young faces and thank god every day that I still get to embrace Steve and many other friends each morning,  Like any disease it sucks we have many up's and down's here with Ella's diabetes every day and its a struggle but we do not let it get us down. What I really enjoyed about this movie was the role his wife takes on and her courage not hiding any of those up's and downs. 

I understand the up's and downs of the disease so none of that was hard for me to watch, it was the everyday life that his wife's role has become. She now has to raise two people on her own so impressed that it was there for the world to see. Ask Steve he will tell you that there are days his mom could just kill him (in a loving way of course)! In the movie, Michael said a few things that I understood all too well, "I have never wanted to be a saint. I've never been a saint before Steve. I'm never going to be a saint. I don't want to be, like, a devil or a dick face, but I don't want to be a saint, either. I just want to be a real person."

There was also a scene that was raw and real that got to me you could see in her body she was just done for the day and just trying to melt away into her own world when Steve's insecurities take over

Gleason, on one side of the room, in his bed. Varisco, a few feet away in her bed, fiddling on her laptop.  She is trying to ignore him, but he wants to talk.

Gleason: “Are you okay?”

Varisco: (dispassionately) “Yep.”

In a few minutes, both are in bed, light on. She is trying to sleep.

Gleason: “I feel like you have no compassion towards me. Everything is rushed. You always have somewhere else to be. You rush any care you give me. I don’t understand what I did to deserve it. Please tell me how I can improve … You walked by me 10 times tonight while Rivers was on my lap. I tried to get your attention. You didn’t even look at me.”

Varisco: (dispassionately) “Sorry. I don’t think it’s anything you can improve. I think it’s more how I can improve.”

Gleason: “Do you feel angry when you are with me?”

Varisco: “Um, no. I feel more angry with myself, for how I feel, in general.”

Gleason: “What can I do to be more important to you?”
Varisco: “I don’t know.” sometimes can be so unfair and yet she stands by her husband and supports him every day!

This movie should be watched by everyone and discussed by many. Even the most hard ass with be uncomfortable watching aspects of his life. But you will also walk away not feeling sorry for him but energized with a better outlook on your own life. Like I said I have been part of this lifestyle for a long time now and have seen what it can do for families and friends alike. I would really hope you could take a few minutes out of your busy day and watch Gleason it is currently streaming on Amazon. I promise you, at the beging of this movie you will lean over to your sagnifeagant other and ask would you do that for me? And when the credits roll that answer just might suprise you if you ask it again... 

ALS scares me to this day I could still happen to me you never know! When my dad kept falling last summer it scared me as my mind immediately thought oh know could it be? We talked about it for a few hours one night wondering what we would do and how we would handle it, never an easy conversation.

If you watch this movie please let me know how you felt, did it touch your heart in a way that you were not ready for? I know for my wife it did and she hears me talk about it all the time. But seeing it for the fist time was eye opening, 


  1. This does sound like an important film. Not enough attention or understanding is given to the difficult, draining and demanding role of a caregiver.


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