A friend told John Allred about someone in her neighborhood who might make for an inspiring story.
“We figured we'd just go and hang out with them for a couple of days,” says John. “And two and a half years later, we'd compiled all this great footage of them and we knew there was a bigger story there.”
Allred and some colleagues own a production company that makes videos but his one was going to be different.
Alex James grew up in Thomasville and went on to play basketball at Harvard. After graduation, he got a good job with IBM and was lucky enough to marry the woman of his dreams.
A few years later, everything changed – well, not everything. Liz is still the woman of his dreams and their two children, twins Matt and Will, are still with them, but not in the way they were 25 years ago.
Since then, Liz has developed multiple sclerosis and the boys have been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Alex had to “reinvent himself” by leaving his job at IBM and becoming retrained as an in-home caretaker.
“He sees this as the only option that he had,” says Allred. “This is what makes sense when I think the reality of the fact is a lot of people run away from this kind of adversity and he stared it head on and I think that makes him a very unique person -- and did it with grace and love and humility, all along the way.”
“Probably the toughest thing, years ago, was just accepting help,” Alex told us. “You're not really sure how to use that or how to feel good about it because you're raised to take care of your own needs.”
His goal is for Liz and the boys to have as normal a life as they can.
“It's typical to spoil kids with disabilities,” says Alex. “We've probably done that but, I think, not too bad. We still expect certain behavior from them and accountability.”
This is not the dream Alex had for his life 30 years ago. But it is a life he wouldn’t trade.
“There's always hope, there's always something to look forward to, there's always reason to get up in the morning,” says Alex with a smile. “And there might be a little something there about keeping promises.”
See their story in this edition of the Buckley Report.
For more information, visit houseoflovefilm.com.