See How a Film Student Turned Her Father’s ALS Diagnosis into Art


When a college Freshman film student learned her father had ALS, she turned to art to help her cope. The result is a documentary that demonstrates the healing power of art to help others dealing with a parent’s ALS diagnosis.

The ALS Association website says, “ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.” Approximately 6,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year.

The film student, Tess Cohen, was 18 years old when her father was diagnosed with ALS. She said that to use a camera to capture each moment with her dad was a way to stop time with a disease that moves so quickly. Most patients only have 2-5 years to live after diagnosis.

Her documentary is featured on a website that uses art to bring together young people struggling with a parents ALS diagnosis. The site encourages teens and young adults to share their artwork and share their stories.

You can go to to find out more about the program, see some of the art, or share your story.