Here’s the link to watch the interview on AM Northwest with myself, Fred Noble, and Lance Christian about The Noble Spirit Documentary film and ALS fundraising events:
“A rare glimpse into one man’s battle with ALS…with the spirit to find good in every situation and embrace every day no matter the challenge we face”
Not many people would have the courage, tenacity, and long term vision to chronicle their own terminal illness. Fred invited me into his life with a no holds barred approach, and encouraged me capture every detail of his daily life. It’s been an honor and to have complete access and a challenge to watch him struggle without interfering with events as they naturally unfolded.
I don’t know why it’s so difficult for Americans to enjoy time off work to relax and rejuvenate without feeling guilty, but for the last 15 years I’ve found it necessary to escape the USA to a 3rd world country for this ‘indulgence’. When a last minute opportunity arose for a trip to Molokai and Maui, I decided to return to the islands I’d enjoyed with my family and rediscover the islands Aloha spirit.
Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photojournalist, inspirational speaker, filmmaker, creator of “Celebrate What’s Right with the World (http://www.celebratewhatsright.com), and long time friend of colleague Robert Holmes offered us his guest house and the right frame of mind to recharge our creative batteries. Evenings were spent on his porch watching sunset over the island, and at dawn we explored the extensive natural wilderness of the Molokai land trust conservation.
18 months ago Fred Noble was diagnosed with ALS. Though he’s lost the ability to move his legs, he was determined to celebrate his 75th birthday much as he has for the past 38 years – heli-skiing with Canadian Mountain Holidays. Last week he made the first ever descent on a sit-ski at the Bugaboos. Stay posted for his story about this sit-ski adventure soon, here’s a teaser from the documentary film we’re helping him create.
So, here’s how the first descent on a sit ski heliskiing at CMH unfolded . . .
On June 28th, 2011 Dale R. Johnson died in a freak accident while working with an excavator to pull out a tree stump in his front yard. He was alone; the cause of death determined by medical professionals was a blunt trauma to the head and chest that broke his neck – he died instantly. Although we had recently divorced after fifteen years of marriage , we remained close and he was an integral part of my life. A celebration of life service will be held in Portland, Oregon on July 17th at 4pm – if you’d like to attend please contact me directly for details.
I have avoided speaking about my personal life in my business because I hadn’t felt it was appropriate, but I now feel compelled to share so many things I wished I’d said before. Dale was my biggest supporter, he helped establish my photography career and worked tirelessly behind the scenes. He had the patience of a saint, and was kind, spirited, adventurous, funny, creative and had an amazing capacity to care for others and love. He helped me focus on what was really important in life; beyond all the professional accolades or successes what I most cherish is the love he showed unconditionally and his ability to live life to the fullest. While I was driven and endlessly active, he balanced my energy with his calmness and ability to find peace in the stillness; he was my rock and he enabled me to become what I am today. I will forever be grateful to him for all has done and his spirit will be deeply missed by so many people whose lives he touched profoundly.
We kept a journal of our personal journey – our round the world trip from Oct 2000 to December 2001, which I’d recently archived in this blog (see archive entries by those dates). Below is a summary of a life well lived, details of moments behind the photographs I haven’t shared with many before now.