Wrapping up Often Awesome The Series

Posted on: December 18, 2012
1 comment so far

For those who may be finding out about the series for the first time, Often Awesome the Series is a web series about our friends Tim and Kaylan and their battle against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. They had an amazing group of friends and family supporting them, the Often Awesome Army, and this is their story.

We launched Often Awesome The Series three years ago on December 27th, 2009. When we started the series, we did it to keep close friends and family members aware of what was going on in Tim’s life and to hopefully help Tim and Kaylan raise money for his quality of life care and medical bills. I don’t think we had a clue as to what we were getting into. We knew it would be difficult at times, we knew it would be amazing at times but we had no idea that it would take us on a three year journey that would be a life changing adventure.

Year one: When we first started the series, Tim was very active. While he did show signs of the disease, it didn’t slow him down too much. We had decided, probably unwisely, that we would produce an episode of Often Awesome every two weeks. For those of you that don’t know anything about video production, creating an 8-10 minute episode every two weeks is a lot especially considering our crew consisted of me and Andy. To put that in perspective, that’s like creating two feature films in a year with just two dudes. We felt like there was a lot going on that first year and we wanted to document as much as we could. Also, it was important to keep Tim’s support group, whether local or abroad, involved with his life. Not only did we capture many of the amazing things that Tim was doing, we captured benefits that others were putting together to help with Tim’s medical care. We captured music benefit shows, art auctions, the “Shirt Off My Back” quilt project, an ALS Walk, a Tattoo benefit and a dance party benefit. Not only did we have some amazing stories to tell but we were meeting just the most incredible, caring people. I think one of my favorite episodes was #18: All That Yas. It featured Yasmine, a 4 year old artist, that held her own art auction to raise money for Tim. This episode really embodies the fact that we all have something (if not money) that we can use to help others.

Not only were all these events happening but Tim and Kaylan got married too.

Year two: By the time year two rolled around, Tim’s health had really taken a turn for the worst. He had become mostly bed ridden but Tim’s support group had really grown by this point. There were many people who volunteered to handle his day to day medical needs. Tim also eventually lost the ability to speak that year but it did little to stop his voice from being heard. While we only produced 7 episodes that year, it was Tim who started to message celebrities to see if they would do intros for the episodes. Episode 31 would feature an intro from Adrian Young of No Doubt and other episodes that year would feature intros from Billy Gould (Faith No More) and Scott Avett (Avett Brothers). This was something we’d continue to do throughout the remainder of the series. This year also saw more great benefit shows including another music benefit show, a burlesque benefit from the ladies of Purrrlesque, another dance party benefit and a film screening. There are two episodes from that year that I’d like to share. The first is #27: Any Of Us Can Do It. It features Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers talking about his awakening to service for others and how rewarding and fulfilling that service is.

The other episode from that year that I’d like to highlight is #32: A Day In The Life. This episode shows what an ALS patient goes through in a typical day. There were times that Andy and I would feel awkward filming but Tim would always insist we document these things so the world would know what ALS was like. That selflessness and that willingness to show even his most vulnerable moments speaks to the type of person Tim was.

Year two would see Tim lose his battle with ALS but his fight would continue.

Year three: Even though Tim was no longer with us, year three would still see 3 more episodes. These episodes would be Tim, Kaylan and the friend’s goodbyes and it would also be a passing of the torch to those who continue the fight. Episode 35: The Bench would see Tim’s friends burying some of his ashes and planting a Bench in his honor. This episode would also see an intro by guitar legend and ALS activist Jason Becker. Jason was an amazing guitarist with a great solo career but once he joined the David Lee Roth band he was set to be on the level of Eddie Van Halen. Right before his first tour with Roth, Jason began to feel a “lazy limp” in his leg. Soon after he would be diagnosed with ALS and given 3-5 years to live. Well, Jason has been battling ALS for more than 20 years and is still writing music. His story was released on DVD today. You can find it here.

Episode 36: Passing The Torch, the series finale, speaks to the future of the Often Awesome organization and also features New Orleans Saint and Super Bowl Champion, Steve Gleason. Steve was diagnosed with ALS but much like Tim he had an amazing group of friends and family that were willing to help him with his battle and his willingness to create awareness. Team Gleason can be found on Facebook and through their website.

Andy and I would both like to thank Tim, Kaylan and the Often Awesome Army for allowing us into their lives. It’s been an amazing journey and we’ve been honored to tell this story. While I’m sad that Tim is no longer with us, I’m very happy that the awesome person that he was will live forever and continue to help others affected with ALS through this series. Please continue to share the series and help raise awareness.

Thanks so much for all the support!
Blake Faucette and Andy Coon

One Response to “Wrapping up Often Awesome The Series”

  1. SF Says:

    I stumbled upon these webisodes by accident and i’ve watched them all and i cant believe it hasnt gotten more views on youtube, i cincerely hope this will change soon.

    The episode of the wedding had me in tears, and while that might not say much, it’s the first time in my 25 years alive that someone else’s fate that i dont even know has had that effect on me.

    I’ve recently met a girl, who’s mother have succumbed to ALS and i’ve tried to learn as much as possible about the disease to better support her when she’s having days of struggle.

    I live in Sweden, and while we’re a fairly educated country, most of my friends dont know what ALS is, and that has to change. And i’ll do my best.

    I had to write this somewhere, and hopefully someone close to Tim will read it and know that you all inspired and moved someone far away on the other side of the globe.


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