As our fourth and final feature for Women’s History Month, we are honored to share the story of Andrea Lytle Peet and her remarkable film: Go On, Be Brave.
Go On, Be Brave is the story of Andrea’s race against time, a terminal diagnosis, and an attempt at the impossible: to be the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in all 50 states. When the crew premiered the film at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this past February, rabbit was ecstatic to attend a showing. Watching the film, speaking with the filmmakers, and meeting Andrea and her husband was incredibly moving. We are deeply thankful for this meaningful experience.
A Life Changing Diagnosis
Before her diagnosis, Andrea was living a normal life: urban planner, triathlete, and wife hoping to start a family with her husband, Dave. In four months, she went from completing a half Ironman triathlon to walking with a cane, then a walker. She was told to get her affairs in order. Like a true athlete, she decided to do one final race before her body failed her—an extraordinary experience that convinced Andrea she could inspire others with her journey.
After five years with ALS, Andrea embarked on the craziest goal she could think of: become the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in all 50 US states. What followed was a truly unbelievable journey.
A Love Letter to Life
While following Andrea’s dream to complete a marathon in every state, the film is ultimately a love story between her and Dave. It beautifully depicts their deep and abiding love that refuses to give up, even in the hardest of circumstances.
The film is also a love letter to her ALS community that refuses to be defined by their diagnoses. It transcends the labels of "sports documentary" or "disease documentary" and instead inspires the audience to answer a universal question:
What does it mean to truly live?
“Being outside, feeling my muscles move, breathing hard… these are all things I shouldn’t be able to do. These simple joys are denied to people with ALS as they are forced to watch themselves die, muscle by muscle. So, I will be out on my trike for as long as I can, to celebrate the freedom of being alive, and to raise money and awareness about ALS."
- Andrea Lytle Peet
A Uniquely Female-Driven Film
Go On, Be Brave is the first feature-length documentary film centered on a woman with ALS, told through the distinct viewpoint of a female director. Miriam McSpadden is the breakout female director of Go On, Be Brave. Not only did she direct and shoot the film, she also edited it in ten weeks so that Andrea could still travel and speak about the documentary. Miriam directed the film alongside Brian Beckman, who has a deep passion for telling marginalized stories. Over the last fifteen years, he has honed his craft by partnering with individuals within underrepresented communities to ensure filming and storytelling is empowering for all involved.
The Team Drea Foundation
With the goal of raising money and awareness for ALS, Andrea and David created Team Drea Foundation, which has raised more than $1 million for ALS research. Her memoir, Hope Fights Back, will be released by Pegasus Books this Fall.
Behind the Scenes
Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how Miriam and the crew filmed Andrea chasing her dreams.