News Release: Emory Healthcare

May 18,  2011

"Season of a Lifetime" Film Highlights Life with ALS

News Article ImageJeremy Williams, seated in goft cart, at a Greenville High School football practice.

Greenville High School football coach Jeremy Williams never planned to be a star. He just wanted to coach a winning football team, be a good husband and set a strong example for his children. Now, he’s the subject of a documentary, Season of a Lifetime, set to premiere this Friday in Atlanta.

The full-length film chronicles the 2010 season of the Greenville High School Patriots football team as they pursue the Georgia state championship under Coach Williams’ leadership. At the same time, Williams is fighting a battle of his own with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease for the popular New York Yankees baseball player who died of it in 1941, ALS is a devastating, incurable disease that kills the motor neuron cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing the brain to lose ability to control muscles in the body. It inevitably leads to paralysis and problems with swallowing, eating and breathing.

As a patient at Emory’s ALS Center, Jeremy and others like him who are living with ALS have access to multidisciplinary care, focusing on independence and quality of life. Together, Emory neurologists, nurses, a speech language pathologist, a social worker, dieticians and occupational, physical and respiratory therapists address all aspects and stages of ALS. 

“Receiving a diagnosis of ALS is difficult,” says Jonathan Glass, M.D., director of Emory’s ALS Center. “It hits people like Jeremy smack in the middle of their productive lives, and it affects not only the individual but the whole family. The strength with which Jeremy and his family have tackled his diagnosis is inspirational.”

Season of a Lifetime premieres Friday, May 20 at Georgia State University’s Rialto Theater, located at 80 Forsyth Street in downtown Atlanta. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments, followed by the documentary screening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit the ALS Association of Georgia. To purchase tickets, visit http://seasonofalifetime.eventbrite.com

“Season of a Lifetime” was directed and produced by Georgia filmmaker Rick Cohen, head of Endorphin Entertainment, in association with FishEye Media Productions. 

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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