In August of 2011 Steve Dezember II was diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. …
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Hope For Steve
“Hope For Steve” is a feature documentary about the triumphant love story of two people, Hope and Steve Dezember, who continue to battle against Steve’s ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The film follows the couple from the initial diagnosis through their first two years of marriage, chronicling the unimaginable challenges of ALS contrasted by their unrelenting spirit and thirst for adventure despite Steve’s ever-declining health. Their journey, struggles, beliefs and desire to spread awareness about the disease are followed over two-and-a-half years in this film.
“My life changed in one 30-minute doctor’s visit.”
After dating for only four months, Steve was diagnosed with the fatal disease ALS, a rapidly debilitating and terminal motor neuron disease. Steve, Hope and Steve’s family learned that ALS progressively robs those affected by causing muscle weakness, paralysis and, ultimately, respiratory failure. The average lifespan after diagnosis is two to five years.
“I was praying it was MS (Multiple Sclerosis) or Parkinson’s or I would even have taken HIV at that point. Anything other than ALS.”
Steve relates, “ALS is a struggle, and it’s demanding, and takes a toll not just on your motor neurons and health, but your soul, which can either be an opportunity to curl up and be defeated or to grow and blossom to become more beautiful you than you could ever imagine.”
“Life does not stop with a horrible diagnosis.”
Two days after receiving his diagnosis, Steve proposed to his then-girlfriend. “I know this is going to be really hard, and if you leave I understand. But if you stay, will you marry me?” She said yes, and her name is Hope.
They married October 15, 2011 while Steve could still walk down the aisle and dance with his beautiful wife. It was a magical day shared with close family and friends.
“These are my vows to Hope for those who were unable to attend.”
“Hope, You have filled my world with unconditional love and meaning. Thank you for taking me as I am; loving me, and welcoming me into your heart. Your passion, strength, and charisma inspire me every day. You are my Angel, and I promise to fight and do all I can to stay here on earth with you as long as God will allow me.”
Immediately Hope and Steve set out on a journey of a lifetime, traveling to Belize and across the United States. It was their journey across country, combined with their rapidly growing social media following that allowed them to meet and befriend musicians and artists such as Dave Matthews, Michael Franti, Gareth Asher and Jeremy Brown.
As word grew of their story, Steve and Hope felt compelled to share their highs and lows, constantly redefining the phrase, “live life to the fullest”. The sacrifices made by the couple and their refusal to let ALS stop them from living their lives is a testament to true love — a love that inspires, excites, and offers hope in the midst of a terminal prognosis.
“ALS is terminal at this time. ALS is not an incurable disease. It is an underfunded one.”
“HOPE For Steve” is a story that helps spread awareness about the need for research to combat this crippling disease. It is the story of two warriors fighting ALS together with the one thing not even a terminal disease can take away; self-less, honest and inspiring love, which pushes them to champion on together.