Stefan Enslin of Faith in Motion is bringing awareness to the plight of a young boy and his mother in a new documentary.
Damian Gower is 13 but unlike most boys his age he cannot sit, stand, crawl or walk. He is also unable to communicate easily with anyone except his mom Deirdre. Damian was born a healthy baby but despite numerous tests in South Africa and the US, doctors are unable to give a diagnosis.
In March 2012, Damian and Deirdre will complete the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Tour to raise funds for a new wheelchair. Deirdre will cycle with Damian in tow for the entire race. The aim is to generate donations and the initiative has been organised through the Chaeli Charity.
Enslin explains that he became involved in the project after Deirdre decided to do the Argus. “She got permission from the Chaeli Charity and secured a bike sponsorship from various people. Faith in Motion was approached to make a documentary about the initiative and filming has already begun with coverage of Damian’s 13th birthday party, when the bike was handed to the family.’
The documentary faces logistical challenges as the Argus is the biggest timed cycle race in the world. “We will use a supporting vehicle for the actual filming. Damian has special needs so a 109km cycle race is a huge challenge for him. Whenever the race gets too much we will pick him up as quickly as possible to ensure that the other cyclists are not held up.’
The documentary will shoot on the lightweight Canon Legria HF M14, which Enslin describes as a very practical camera and easy to use. It is a full HD camcorder that films at 25fps. Much of the filming will take place on bikes alongside Deirdre.
Enslin says: “Hopefully the film will help in raising money for Damian for a wheelchair. He also has to undergo hip surgery next year after the Argus. We will approach TV channels for possible broadcast of the film, as well as distributors. A DVD release is also planned.’
Enslin concludes: “Damian is just one of so many people facing an undiagnosed condition. This campaign gives a platform for Damian and others like him, which they would not be able to get from the more traditional channels.’
For more information visit the Facebook page Damian, Deirdre and a very long bike ride, or www.chaelicampaign.co.za or email firstname.lastname@example.org.