Monday, April 27, 2009

Local Teen's Vision Brings Inspirational Film and Star to Fayette

Darius Goes West, an award-winning documentary, tells the story of Darius Weems, a young man from Athens, Georgia who had a dream of being featured on MTV’s hit show, “Pimp My Ride”.

Raising awareness for the disease that has taken over his physical abilities, Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Darius dreamt of creating a more loving, compassionate world by making younger generations aware of the debilitating disease that has affected one in every 3,500 births; thus, he and eleven of his closest friends set out on a three-and-a-half week, 7,000-mile journey from the hometown that Darius had never left across the country to MTV’s Los Angeles studios. In addition to dreams of raising awareness, he dreams that the lives of others will be improved upon discovery of a cure for the number one genetic killer of children worldwide.
While the subject matter seems a bit sad on first glance, the story has all the humor you would expect from a road trip film. In addition to laugh out loud moments at nearly every stop on the trek, Darius possesses a unique power to turn a typically tragic situation into one of absolute joy.
When Erin Breedlove, an eighteen-year-old senior at Whitewater High School, saw the film for the first time, she was able to instantly relate to the struggles that Darius and crew faced throughout the journey and continue to face today. As a student with mobility impairment, she could identify with obstacles that the film attempts to break down such as Americans with Disabilities Act compliancy as it applies to public facilities. Erin enlisted the aid of her British Literature teacher, Mr. Sean Bennett, to envision the project and help bring it to reality.
Bennett states, "I just knew from the look in Erin's eyes when she spoke to me about the project that it was something that just had to become a reality". Erin's tenacity and drive have helped make the screening of Darius Goes West a moment of celebration and an opportunity for enlightenment and community outreach.

As a result of her inspiration, on May 8, 2009, Darius and the crew will be making a stop in Fayetteville to address the senior class of Whitewater High School and later that evening, they will be among community members answering your questions and telling their stories in their own words following a screening of the movie that will take place beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Whitewater High School / Sara Harp Minter Complex.

Featuring group discounts, educator discounts, live music and entertainment, along with many concessions, all groups are welcome to attend. Handicap parking is available in addition to accessible seating.

Come join Erin and her team for a night of food, fun, and awareness to take part in the fight the fiercely raging battle against this deadly disease! Tickets are available for $5 per person in the front office of Whitewater High School or at your child’s school. Please contact the Darius Goes West Screening Team via e-mail at DariusWildcat@gmail.com for donation information and general inquiries.
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