At age 39 Jeff Fogel, a girls’ basketball coach at the local JCC is diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. With no knowledge of what this disease entails, he searches the Internet to discover Lou Gehrig’s famous speech, where Lou refers to himself as, “The luckiest man in the world.”
Jeff, scared and distraught, is faced with the challenge of deciding how to continue living the now numbered days of his life. As the harsh reality of his condition sets in and everyday activities become more and more difficult, Jeff motivates himself by imagining that his daily obstacles exist in a world of fantasy and challenge.
Coaching his 12-year-old girls’ basketball team turns into coaching an NBA team through the finals. Driving to the grocery store in his beat up car turns into a drag race with Ferraris and Mustangs. Through his wondrous imagination, Jeff tackles his everyday obstacles as if they are larger than life scenarios. Jeff gets through each day, giving his all to every moment. The love he receives and gives to the people around him, give him a sense of appreciation for living in the present. Jeff comes to the realization that he is Lou Gehrig, by living each day to the fullest he makes himself the “luckiest man in the world.”
“I AM Lou Gehrig. The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live”
– Jeff Fogel.
Directed by Gil Green
Cast & Crew:
Gil Green, Director
Gil Green was raised in the cultural melting pot of Miami. Known as a music video director with over 150 music videos under his belt and numerous awards, Gil's ultimate goal is to continue his work in the feature film industry. Gil views music videos as mini-movies and aims to tell stories with his work.
Jeff and Gil met at an early age, through their mutual love for the game of basketball. Although their lives took different routes in different cities, the two Florida natives have managed to keep in touch. A short while after Jeff was diagnosed with ALS he approached Gil with the ambition of raising funds for the local ALS Recovery Fund and using his story to inspire others diagnosed with ALS. From this the idea for a fun, lighthearted and optimistic film was born.
“Our goal is to provide an insight not only to the effects of the disease, but to have people be inspired by Jeff’s courageous ability to maintain a positive daily outlook, even through life’s biggest challenges.”
- Gil Green.
Judd Allison is a South Florida native who started his career as a producer for the fashion industry in the early 90s. In 1991, Judd founded Picture Perfect Productions, the first full service production house on Miami Beach. Located on Ocean Drive, he served as a pioneer in the blossoming Miami production renaissance.
Judd partnered with the world-renowned director, Gil Green in 2006 and the partnership gave rise to 305 Films. An innovative film collective, 305 Films currently represents South Florida’s most inventive and creative directors, cinematographers and art directors. Judd’s passion for helping directors and filmmakers bring their visual ideas to life motivates him to continue in the production business.
Judd Allison, Producer
Jeff Fogel as Jeff Fogel,
Jeff Fogel is a South Florida native who has been friends with Gil Green since the age of 16. The two met and have kept in touch for twenty years through their mutual love of basketball. Jeff was diagnosed with ALS in 2008 and through the symptoms of his condition continues to live life to the fullest every single day. Jeff continues to coach, giving his heart to the Michael-Ann Russell JCC Girls’ Youth Basketball team. He has vowed to continue supporting them until he is physically unable. Jeff states to this day, that his “Girls’ Basketball Team is his daily medicine.”
Udonis Haslem is a three time NBA Champion with the Miami Heat. Born and raised in Miami, Florida; Udonis has strong ties to the community. Udonis and Gil’s fathers played basketball together on Pro-Am teams in Miami, and Gil later featured Udonis in music videos he did for artists DJ Khaled and Rick Ross.
After Gil wrote this script, he tapped Udonis for a cameo acting debut. When Udonis met Jeff, he was so inspired by his courage, that he signed onto the project as an Executive Producer and helped rein other Miami Heat players into the project. Udonis also appeared in numerous TV shows and radio broadcasts to help garner support for the Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the film.