Before I watched this film, I didn’t know much about ALS, but after watching Go On, Be Brave, I now know a lot more about ALS, and how intense and brutal it is. ALS is a neurological disease that results in the loss of motor neurons that control the muscles of the human body which makes it difficult for people to walk and talk. Many people who have ALS are interviewed or mentioned in the film, but unfortunately, most of these people have now passed away. It’s haunting to watch these people get interviewed while simultaneously seeing captions on the bottom of the screen, showing the year that they died. This is because the average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years. 20% live five years or more, and 10% percent live more than 10 years. Currently, there is no cure or treatment for ALS.
This documentary focuses on Andrea Peet, a woman diagnosed with ALS at 33 years old. Before her diagnosis she was very athletic, competing in many running marathons and triathlons. But her ALS quickly debilitated her motor skills in the span of a year. This made it clear to Andrea that she did not have many years left to live. So she bought a recumbent tricycle and decided to keep doing marathons until she died. When she reached the fifth anniversary of her diagnosis, she was grateful, because she knew that it’s rare to have ALS and still be alive after five years. The anniversary also gave her an ambitious idea, and that was to become the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in every state in the United States of America. Her plan would eventually be put into action; requesting two filmmakers by the names of Miriam McSpadden and Brian Beckman to record her marathons in every state, while also showing Andrea’s daily life.
The film does an excellent job at showing how much determination Andrea has. After seeing her daily routine, it’s clear how difficult it is for her to do basic tasks like walking and talking, things most people take for granted. And seeing how challenging it is for her to do these tasks only deepens the awe you feel when you see her get closer and closer to succeeding her 50 state marathon goal. The film is an absolutely inspiring story of hard work and perseverance.
When the film was over, I left the theater feeling with a burning sense of optimism because of how much Andrea accomplished despite her diagnosis. Andrea’s journey reminded me that it’s important to not take life for granted, and that there truly is no such thing as the impossible. Overall, Go On Be Brave is an amazing film that I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for an inspirational story or wants to learn more about ALS.
If you want to know more about this film, here is the film’s website: https://goonbebravefilm.com/
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