Aging & Gerontology


Alzheimer's Caregiving

Body Image

Brain Disorders


Chronic Illness

Cross-Cultural Care

Death & Dying



Family Issues

Gender & Sexuality


Global Health

Grief & Recovery


Maternal & Child Health

Mental Health & Psychology



Pain Management

Sexual Abuse/Violence

Substance Abuse

Suicide/Self Injury

Women's Health

Contact Fanlight

Join Email List

Requests for
Digital Rights

Follow Us! On...

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

"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

Related Films
Kiss My Wheels: Through an exhilarating season of training and competition, the members of a junior wheelchair basketball team deal with difficult issues, from gender conflicts to injury, illness, and thoughts of death.

Breakaway: This provocative documentary tells the story of the conflicted relationship between two men coping with the consequences of severe, traumatic brain injury.

Breathing Lessons: Academy Award winning portrait of poet and journalist Mark O'Brien, who contracted polio in childhood and spent much of his life in an iron lung.

Not Just Surviving: Four women who have been living with Spinal Cord Injury for as long as 30 years discuss topics that include rehabilitation, healthcare, sexuality, parenting, menopause, and how to live day-to-day with hope.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website