Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Melissa "Fiver" Kern has been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien since she read The Hobbit as a child, and has always loved books. Her heart leaped when she saw the preview for Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of Lord of the Rings, and she has been involved in organizing like-minded "Ringers" in the Southeast for many years now.

The hard fact is that Melissa has just been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Essentially, it causes all the motor neurons in the brain to shut down, gradually making the muscles unable to function. Life expectancy is 3-5 years from diagnosis. (She’s had the disease for about a year already.) The disease progressively takes away movement and coordination. In September, she marched with fellow LotR fans in the annual DragonCon parade. Six months later, she is barely walking, and needs my help to climb stairs or get dressed.

She is excited about the filming of "The Hobbit" sequels, but was apprehensive about the release dates of 2010 and 2011: She doesn’t even know if she’ll still be alive when these movies are released. I told her to make that her goal : to be around to see these films in the theater. But we don’t know how this disease will go.

The goal of PROJECT FIVER is to deliver a petition to Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema / Wingnut Films, and whomever takes the Directorship, asking that Melissa "Fiver" Kern be cast as a costumed hobbit extra.

Cast your vote and signature at Make a dream come true and send Melissa to the big screen. As of 3/19 nearly 2600 signatures.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Thank you for posting this! Melissa is so thrilled with all the signatures and well-wishes she has received from the petition.