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DGW FAN MAIL

Darius Goes West headquarters gets tons of e-mails and letters from our fans. Here are excerpts from some of our favorites…

LETTERS FROM TEACHERS/EDUCATORS (AND OTHER GROWN-UPS)

” When we showed your film, I have never seen our students–all 1000 plus of them–so quiet. Even kids who normally do not care about much at school, left talking about the movie and jumped in on helping with the cause.”
-Christine Lightsey, Daniel High School, Clemson, SC

“I teach at an alternative school where my students get expelled out of their home school and are ordered to come to my school. They feel like the world owes them. they have no respect for anyone and they definitely do not care about their education. I have been trying to find inventive ways to teach my students that the decisions that they make right now can make their life a mess in the future and that they need to enjoy and realize how blessed they are to be healthy beings and have someone to care about them and for them. Showing them your film brought my message home! For once I saw my students care about something in their life and respected what the message in the DVD was about and really became interested in what DMD was and its effects; and for that I just want to say thank-you for your knowledge because my kids understand now what I have been trying to say to them about caring about something in their life. For once I saw some of my “tough” kids shed a tear in private and I let them know this is what life is about caring, crying, sharing being loved etc…and that is okay! They could not wait to get to my class just so that they could watch the documentary. All in all, I was able to see my students in a different light a light that I have been waiting to see for the last 2 years. I truly appreciate what you and your crew are trying to do. Keep your head up and may God continue to bless each and every one of you!”
-Shenika Kilpatrick, 6th-8th grade Life Skills teacher

“As a middle school literacy teacher, I used your film as part of a month long social action project my students spear-headed, which included fund-raising, the movie screening, and a school-wide letter drive. It was an amazing event from start to finish.”
-Tristan Wright, I.S. 528, Washington Heights, NY

“Your film not only raised awareness about Duchenne musuclar dystrophy, it also stimulated valuable discussions on disability awareness, accessibility issues, empathy and acceptance, race relations/tolerance issues, and the value of volunteering. It encouraged my students to act on their big dreams and also to be thankful for their friends. Thanks!”
-Janet Dennis, Special Services Teacher, Wood River High School, Hailey, ID

“I have two words re: the effect your film had on my students: Life Altering. Through innovation, perseverance, dedication, self-discipline, and brotherhood, my students were able to see that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE when you can imagine it and you want it. Darius, you are a real-life, living, breathing, and talking inspiration.”
-Kimberly MacNeill, W.R. Coile Middle School, Winterville, Georgia

“I attended the showing of your film last night in Gainesville, FL, on a last second invitation from a neighbor of mine.  I had no idea what I was about to witness as she did her best to describe what was in store as we made the 20 minute trip across town to the PK Yonge auditorium. We arrived about 10 minutes before show time, took our seats, and watched the previews of a young child here in the Gainesville area that has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Then it happened.  Your show began.  Your story unfolded in front of me, and I was unbelievably moved.  I experienced a broad range of emotions; mostly laughter, some tears, and everything else in between.  Your story was very impressive.  The way that you all took a stand together to try to change things for one young man did wonders for my heart.  If makes me believe in humanity again.  You should all be extremely proud of the work that you have done, and that you continue to do! Keep fighting the good fight!”
-Tim Caruthers, University of Florida Athletic Association

“Thanks so much for visiting our school. The entire day was memorable, but one especially sweet moment was when you boys ’served’ lunch to all the 6th graders who raised the most money for your cause. I didn’t expect that, but it was soooo cute. As Darius and the rest of you sat amongst the kids, chatted with them, and paid rapt attention to their little stories, I  my eyes filled with tears. My students will never forget you.”
-Virginia Coyne, I.S. 109, Queens Village, NY

“I am writing to let you and Darius know that his presence on this campus is already making a difference in the lives of others, one in particular, my daughter Mary. Mary has been a student at SCDS for nine years now and never before today have we received a phone call like we got this morning. The phone call was from a fellow student who with other students from SCDS will be going to the MLK Day parade on Monday as a group from school. This student called to ask whether Mary was planning to go and if she was that they would make a movable ramp for her to make her accessiblity more complete. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how long we have waited and wanted a call like that. We (her parents) have always had to be the ones to make sure Mary could access all aspects of her experience at SCDS. From buying wheelchair/walker friendly desks to carrying her on and off the bus for field trips so she could ride with her classmates. We have been grateful that we could do those things for her to gain full accessiblity to her school life but had always hoped that others around her might see past that wheelchair to the human need and lend a hand in friendship. Today that happened and I know it would not have if not for Darius. Please let him know that as far as I am concerned the he is the strongest, best teacher to ever set foot (or wheel) on the SCDS campus.”
-Marcella Dillard, Savannah, GA

” I showed your movie  to my 8th grade class.  We have been studying genetics and genetic related disorders in science.  I thought your movie was perfect based on the fact that the text book we have didn’t cover Muscular Dystrophy and I wanted to show them something they could relate to.  I thought it was an AWESOME movie that brought out a lot of emotions in my students that I don’t normally get to see.  Middle School kids tend to keep things bottled up or are too tough to be sad or cry in front of their peers.  Some showed tears, some hid their tears, but everyone felt the emotion!  It was a very powerful film.  You all should be proud to be a part of DGW. Thanks guys and from all of my students…………..…….WE KNOW ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!”
-Andy Schanke, James Madison Middle School, Appleton, WI

LETTERS FROM MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

“You have touched my life in a special way and this makes me want to do something to help people with disabilities. Thank you for being who you are. A hero in my eyes and a great inspiration.”
-Kecia F.

“Let me start off with this – you are a great rapper. You have inspired me to believe in myself, that I can do anything. You have inspired me and now you are like my role model.”
-Annelis B.

“Well I just wanted to tell you a story, about how I came across watching your movie.  I’ll keep it short forr yaa.  So it’s that last day of school before Christmas break and we do nothing in our classes, of course.  But in my biology class our teacher tells us we are going to watch your movie, and none of us EVER heard of it before so we all thought it would be lame, but after about 5 minutes everyone was decided on the fact that your movie is now the best moved everrrr.  And after watching your movie we pretty much all fell in love with it and it’s one of our favorite movies ever.  I mean I loveee it, one of the most inspiration movies ever it beats remember the titans on my list.  I wanted to tell you and your crew what awesome people you are and you probably have the best friends everrr. I just wanted to email you to STAY STRONG and keep fighting, I wish I was as strong as you man.  Your pure inspiration.”
-Jenn T.

“You visited my school a couple of weeks ago, and I have never been so excited about an assembly in my life! After watching your video, and seeing everything you have done for your cause, you have inspired me to go to lengths that I never thought possible. I am a musician. I write and perform my own music. My music is my world. It’s all I have. I want to make a career out of that, but I always thought, ‘Oh, that’s not possible. It’s too hard.”‘However, after seeing what you have done, I realized that absolutely nothing is impossible. I wrote a song specifically for you, and what you support. As soon as I have it recorded, I will send it to you. [If you would like. I am now working with my school and my community in order to do everything in my power to assist you in the fight for your cause. You have made me a better person, and for that, I thank you. I wish you the best of luck in everything you do.”
-Ash E.

LETTERS FROM COLLEGE STUDENTS

“I am a senior nursing student from Mansfield OH. I watched your movie today and it was amazing. I will be buying a copy to help out and spreading the word to everyone that I can. I was wondering if Darius is planning to release a rap CD because I’ll seriously buy one of those too, his raps were awesome and funny at the same time. I am pumped to watch the movie again when I get it and I hope that you guys are both an inspiration and a catalyst to a fighting and curing this debilitating and devastating disease. The best part about this whole project was you were just a group of dudes hanging out and having a good time while supporting a noble cause, I respect this project and wish to one day work on something as inspirational and far reaching. You have moved mountains.”
-Ernie C.

“I attended a screening of your movie and had the pleasure to ask you and some of your buddies a couple questions after the movie.  One thing that struck me was how talented a rapper and writer you are.  I would buy a CD of your raps as soon as it hit stores and I am sure other people would as well.  I saw that To Kill a Mockingbird is your favorite book, it happens to be my favorite too.  The message of the book is to not judge people or make assumptions.  Your movie and work to promote the cause does the same thing. I wish you luck, sir, in your endeavors and know that you are making a huge difference the world. DGW- I know about!!!!”
- Marc C.

“I was in the audience last night at Kent State and each one of you left such a strong impression. At a time in our nation where so many are feeling insecure and unsure of thier futures, it was nice to see a group of people representing my generation so dedicated to doing good and making the most out of thier lives. Thank you for bringing hope and laughter to our campus. I will be taking your DVD home over the holidays and sharing with my family. Lots of luck and safe travels.”
-Michelle L.