After last month’s Love Island cop out I feel like I owe you all a real, serious article!
I’m sorry everyone it was a moment of weakness, last month was hard so please forgive me for my awful taste in television. Toward the end of July I watched “TransFatty Lives” and from not really reading the description and just looking at the cool pictures, I just stuck it on for a casual midweek watch. Little did I know, it would absolutely consume me and make me feel pretty much every emotion on the spectrum.
Patrick O’Brien a.k.a DJ TransFatty is an artist, DJ, filmmaker and internet personality, whose life completely changed when he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease) and given 2-5 years to live. Now, I shamefully did not know much about ALS, and I suppose the time it really came to light for me was around the “Ice Bucket Challenge” viral donations on the internet! However, even though I donated, I still didn’t really, truly understand.
As a wheelchair user and someone with a lifelong disability/genetic condition, I know the day to day stumbling blocks that wheelchair users face, and the challenges that you are presented with daily, following just literally opening your eyes in a morning. However, I did not realise or understand just how consuming ALS really is, and how quickly things change for a person with ALS. Life is all about adapting and change, but I had a huge respect for Patrick (TransFatty) who not only adapted quickly but actually really lived in the moment, making his life and his struggle his art.
I don’t think I can really write about the actual documentary much more as I don’t want to sound cheesy, and in all honesty I don’t want to explain anything incorrectly. But there was really something profoundly beautiful about the way Patrick opened up his life to the audience, offering an insight into disability, but also into life, and the way everything in life is entirely unpredictable.
The reason I chose to write about this was also because it was recently reported that the ALS – Ice Bucket Challenge did actually raise 100 million dollars over a 30-day period for ALS research which in turn has helped researchers identify a gene that’s present in some cases of ALS. Project MinE could help doctors develop new treatments for some patients with ALS and to think that a viral video had a part to play in raising some of the cash for research really is an amazing thing! It shows just how much we can achieve by banding together.
So, anyway; quite a serious post from me this time… But give TransFatty LIVES (available on Netflix) a go when you’ve got some down time this weekend. I give it 5/5 hats as it really does make you feel pretty much every emotion, and you absolutely fall in love with Patrick! His mind, his creativity and his resilience, if everyone had a bit of Patrick in them, the world would be a beautiful, beautiful place.