Film brings awareness to Multiple Sclerosis

by | Mar 4, 2016 | Arts, Life

(Flickr, KOMUnews)


Jessenia Feijo

An estimated 100,000 Canadians are living with multiple sclerosis. MS  is an autoimmune disease that can affect vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility.

Currently there is no cure.

With MS Awareness Week 2016 starting next week March 7, people in the MS movement will lead the effort in showing what they’ve uncovered to live their best lives.

The new film VIABLE aspires to captivate and educate audiences through its intimate look at living with MS.

Mary Gyulay, the director and co-writer of VIABLE, was diagnosed at the age of 22. Her story inspired the feature film, along with a call to action that aims to inform the public that this is a disease that affects all ages.

“VIABLE is really about being successful overcoming trial and tribulations. Even if the odds are against you, it’s all about giving people hope,” – Daniel Skeete, VIABLE’s music composer

The film takes the audience through the journey of Violet who wants to get into a music school. In practising for the audition, she begins to feel symptoms and gets diagnosed with MS. The audience will be able to see the struggles Violet goes through like blurred vision, cramping of the hands and black outs.

“Personally I hope it does open a lot of doors to touch people’s lives. If it could go globally, that would be amazing,” said Daniel Skeete, VIABLE’s music composer.

Skeete said he honestly didn’t know anything about the disease and that’s why he truly appreciates VIABLE. Working hand in hand with Melissa Scicluna, Executive Producer and Co-Writer and as well Gyulay, he gained a knowledge he did not expect.

Skeete wasn’t the only one.

Adrianna Guerra, a Toronto resident, said she experienced the same thing as she walked out of the screening last night.

“The film was amazing. I saw the preview and was completely intrigued. I didn’t know much about MS and this film really opened my eyes. I’m grateful for that,” said Guerra.

“This is a serious disease and it’s something that should not be taken lightly. It is a great way to fund money for research and all the proceeds go to the campaign,” said Skeete.

On VIABLE’s Instagram (@viablefilm) there are 15 second clips of testimonies from people who have been affected by the disease.

Because of Instagram, Gysella Pincay, Vaughan resident, found out of the cause.

Originally Pincay was just going to donate but after convincing some friends to check it out, they made their way to the screening.

“It really made me appreciate my state right now. I mean, Violet was diagnosed so young, and will have to live with it for the rest of her life. I feel like it’s the little things we overlook in life, this is one of them,” said Pincay.

Skeete said he hopes in addition to raising  awareness, the film will show people that if you are diagnosed, you can overcome this, you can have hope.

Matthew Higginson, Senior Coordinator of Social Media and Content for the MS Society of Canada said, Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, and we [MS Society] are proud that Canada is leading some of the world’s most ground-breaking research into treatments and a cure.

Higginson is proud of all the awareness raising efforts that MS Ambassadors and advocates across Canada lead.

“From the thousands who walk and ride at MS Walk and MS Bike events to raise money for research, to those who visit with politicians to push for better community supports, and those who seek out their own creative ways to raise awareness online and in the streets. We strongly believe that it is through actions like these that we will see real progress for people living with MS in our lifetime,” said Higginson.

Skeete said VIABLE is here to do just that.

“VIABLE is really about being successful overcoming trial and tribulations. Even if the odds are against you, it’s all about giving people hope,” said Skeete.

Skeete encourages all to come out to the help join the movement and spread knowledge and awareness to others.