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Why You Should See 'Where Hope Grows'

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You know that moment when the film credits end and you walk out of the theater and turn to the person with you and say, “What do you think?”

Last night, after seeing “Where Hope Grows,” my wife said, “What do you think?”

Me: “It’s not what I expected.”

Her: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I thought it was going to be a movie about a guy with Down syndrome. It wasn’t.”

Her: “No, it was about relationships, what he did.”

Me: “That’s one of the reasons I liked it so much.”

As a parent of a child with special needs – in our case, a daughter with Dup15q syndrome – it’s often hard to explain to others how our family dynamic works.

Yes, our daughter has challenges, but she also brings so much good out of us and those around her.

“Where Hope Grows” shows how a young grocery clerk with a pure heart impacts those around him. Oh, and he happens to have Down syndrome. The film did such a nice job of showing the person, not the disability.

When I got home, I emailed my friend Milan Chakraborty, who produced the movie. There was a specific line in the film I really liked, and I couldn’t remember quite what it was. He wrote back:

“I don’t know it exactly, but it goes something like this…

“You look around (a cemetery) and on every tombstone you see two dates. A birth date and a date of death. You’re guaranteed those two dates. But in between those dates is a dash. It’s what you do with that dash that counts. Make your dash count.”

He wrote a lot more in his email. Making this film has had a big impact on him. He ended with this:

“You know I wouldn’t be a film producer if it wasn’t for 9/11. Due to the friends we lost it made me realize the old adage, ‘It’s not the years in your life but the life in your years,’ which that line really reminded me of.”

Milan was an accountant on Sept. 11, 2001. He realized he wanted something else in life, and now he’s making movies with a purpose. He’s making his dash count.

A mutual friend of ours who survived cancer became a doctor and is now working on creating drugs to help people facing all sorts of diseases. He’s making his dash count.

For many of us raising a child with special needs, that child helps make our dashes count. I know my daughter has done that for us. She’s why we created The Mighty.

I encourage you to take an hour and a half to go see this film while it’s still in theaters. No matter what you may be dealing with in life, watching this film will help you turn your attention to what really matters – making your dash count.

Check out the movie trailer below and see where it’s playing near you.

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Originally published: May 20, 2015
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