Ismail Tsieprati is a former film and video editor, producer, director, and writer with more than 25 years of experience in the film and video business. He has written many screenplays and has extensive educational film credits. Ismail was presented with a special citation from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety, for playing an instrumental role in the initial production of the Department’s training video series. In 2003, Ismail was presented with the ALS March of Faces Vice President’s ALS Awareness and Advocacy Award for his outstanding achievements in raising public awareness of ALS. Although he is totally paralyzed and no longer able to speak or write, Ismail communicates by blinking his eyes to spell out sentences one word at a time. Using this method, he writes posts and blogs for social media and collaborates with Cheryl on musical theatre and other writing projects. He wrote chapters for this book by spelling out each word one blink at a time.
Cheryl Tsieprati worked in the health care industry for nearly 40 years. She has more than 25 years of experience in training consulting, instructional design, writing, and editing. As a freelance journalist, she received a first place award from the Associated Press, Western Region for her work on a newspaper series Retailing in the ’80s. Cheryl also received an award for a comprehensive seminar she developed and facilitated for individuals with neuromuscular diseases and their family caregivers. She enjoys working on creative projects with Ismail, her husband of 44 years, being an ALS advocate, and collaborating on new musicals as book writer or lyricist.
Together, as co-owners of a video production company in the early 1990s, Cheryl and Ismail wrote and produced several promotional and educational videotapes, including It’s Your Choice, a 26-minute educational video produced in 1991 which presents information and options to people facing respiratory failure. In 1993, Ismail and Cheryl wrote and produced Caring for the Caregiver, a 28-minute educational video with accompanying training materials for family caregivers, and What is ALS?, an informational video for the National ALS Association.