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When I Walk #wheniwalk

Premiere Date: June 23, 2014

'When I Walk' in Context

Jason DaSilva

At just 25, filmmaker Jason DaSilva had seen his documentaries Lest We Forget and Olivia's Puzzle screened at dozens of film festivals around the world, from Sundance and Tribeca to the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, and his short film Twins of Mankala had aired on POV. Young, handsome and adventurous, he had the kind of life that is a dream for many documentary filmmakers.

Then, in 2006, Jason was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS. In just five years, he went from being a strong, healthy young man, to walking on wobbly legs, to using a cane, a walker, a wheelchair and eventually a motorized scooter. He fought tirelessly to keep his body going, spending hours at the gym and undergoing experimental procedures with underwhelming results. He even traveled to his ancestral homeland of India to try traditional medicine, as well as spirituality. He visited an uncle to find out more about his family history and got no answers, and he followed the advice of an aunt on the Catholic side of his family to go to Lourdes, France, but still he found no miracle cure. In spite of it all, Jason held tight to the one thing he's always been and will always be—a filmmaker.

When Jason met Alice Cook, his resolve to fight continued to grow. Jason documented their relationship, from their first meeting, to falling in love, getting married and deciding whether to start a family. Alice helped Jason complete his film, with both emotional and production help. Together, Jason and Alice worked to create AXS Map (access map), a crowd-sourced online tool for sharing reviews on the accessibility of places across the country. For Jason, the dream behind AXS Map is to catalogue and share accessible places throughout the country, in order to regain the spontaneity and adventure he enjoyed when he was able-bodied.



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