By Debbie Weisberg / Posted on April 20th, 2015
The Green House homes in Chelsea, MA are groundbreaking for many reasons, including having the first residence where people living with ALS can continue to live full and meaningful lives, while getting the care that they need. These homes have incredible technology that enables the residents to control their environment and communicate with the use of high-tech computers. Patrick O’Brian is a film producer and DeeJay who is living with ALS and his film was recently screened at the Tribeca Filmfest.
Leonard Florence Center’s very own Patrick O’Brien debuted his award-winning documentary film, TransFatty Lives, at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival on April 16 in New York City. The world premiere was attended by renowned film producers, actors, celebrities, politicians and VIP’s. In addition to Patrick, Chelsea Jewish Foundation’s “celebrities” were also on hand for the festivities including, CEO, Barry Berman and famed resident and designer of The Green House home for people living with ALS, Steve Saling. Without a doubt, it was a day to cherish.
This extraordinary film focuses upon living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.) Patrick hopes the film will reach as many people as possible to help increase awareness and mobilization against ALS.
“I was officially diagnosed with ALS when I was 30 years old,” said Patrick O’Brien. “It is a fatal and incurable disease. I have chosen to do something with my illness. As you will see, I turned the cameras on myself and began to document my journey with ALS on 35mm motion picture film. This challenge has given me a focal point for my energies, and will hopefully inspire others to keep moving through their own adversities.”
Ten years in the making, TransFatty Lives explores what it means to live, what it means to die and what is important in life. Containing no talking heads or lengthy interviews, the film relies instead on a distinct visual style all its own.
Two days before the festival, Patrick received a congratulatory letter from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In the letter, The Governor cited Patrick’s incredible passion, talent, bravery and optimistic outlook. As he put it, “The screening of your film will serve as an inspiration to people worldwide who are fighting their own battles, while raising awareness for ALS.”