CEU Concepts recently held a CEU fundraising event for HOPE for Steve. The CEU at St. Joseph’s Hospital featured a screening of the “Hope for Steve” documentary and a conversation with Hope and Steve Dezember.
In August of 2011, Steve Dezember II was diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The disorder is characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, muscle spasticity, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, and decline in breathing ability.
As healthcare professionals, social workers, nurses, and case managers interact with many different patients and families on a daily basis – many with personal stories that move us and inspire us to live life to the fullest. As we travel these personal journeys with our patients, we become better people (both personally and professionally)—able to help other patients more fully and to rally around causes that we believe so strongly. During this CEU presentation, participants took a closer look at one of these inspiring stories of courage, love, inspiration and HOPE. Hope and Steve are a young couple that are facing many challenges as Steve battles ALS. When Steve was diagnosed, they decided to document their journey with this disease – as a way to live life to the fullest and spread awareness of this horrible disease. After watching the documentary, engaged in a discussion with Hope and Steve – covering different topics such as how they learned to cope (and live vibrantly!) with a terminal diagnosis, caregiving triumphs and challenges and how their support system (family/friends and healthcare professionals) assist them on this journey.
The event was very powerful. In addition to Hope and Steve, Steve’s parents came as well and mentioned their appreciation and said that of all of the events they’ve done – this one was the most beneficial as it reached the healthcare professionals to help other patients. In addition, the healthcare professionals learned of many resources to help other patients – Hope and Steve were a wealth of information.
Here are some of the comments from participants: “Incredible,” “I would have never imagined that this presentation would affect me in this miraculous way,” and “I am a changed person – what a tremendous gift has been given to us with this couples’ life.”