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photo Bearing Witness: Luke Melchior
By Dan Curtis
National Film Board of Canada

Luke Melchior jokes that at least he doesn't have to watch his cholesterol intake. At 26 he has already lived longer than most people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive wasting disease of the muscles. His debilitating illness and the slow deterioration of his condition have forced him to face death and to accept each day as a gift and a challenge.

Knowing his life will be relatively short has made Luke feel an urgency about making a lasting contribution. He lives independently, with the help of three homecare workers, runs a web-based business selling outdoor gear, and chairs the Disability Resource Centre in Victoria, British Columbia, where he is a passionate advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.

Though his illness may define some parameters of his life, in other ways he is a normal young man, preoccupied with making his way in the world, being as independent as he is able to be, and finding a girlfriend. "I just don't want to take it too seriously," he says, "because the fact is, it's part of life, dying."

51 minutes
© 2003
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-404
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-906-1
close captioned

Reviews
"An intimate portrait which would be a good addition to any public or academic library collection on disability studies. Recommended." Educational Media Reviews Online

Awards & Conference Screenings
Finalist, International Health and Medical Film Competition

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