Beloved by many, Ismail H. Tsieprati passed away on December 22, 2020 of acute cardio-pulmonary arrest and pneumonia, secondary to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Although the average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from the date of diagnosis, Ismail lived with ALS for 33 years after the date of his own diagnosis and more than 50 years from the onset of his first symptoms.
“I was happy and in love with my wife and loved our family,” Ismail once said when asked how he wanted to be remembered after he died.
Ismail was a film and video editor, producer, director, and writer with more than 25 years of experience in the film and video business. He wrote many screenplays and had extensive educational film credits. He 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. He was also a recipient of a 2017 Walk Hero Award at the 14th Annual Ventura/Santa Barbara County Walk to Defeat ALS.
Although ALS gradually stole Ismail’s ability to move, speak, even to breathe on his own, it never took away his determination to live a happy and productive life. When he was no longer able to speak or write, Ismail communicated by blinking his eyes to spell out sentences one letter at a time. Using this method, he wrote posts and blogs for social media.
By spelling out each word with eye blinks, he collaborated with his wife Cheryl on writing projects, including their book One Blink at a Time, an upbeat, inspiring story of courage and optimism, in which Ismail and Cheryl recount in alternating chapters how they dealt with their daily challenges living for decades with ALS. Above all else, One Blink at a Time is an inspiring love story. Ismail and Cheryl continued to be in love and devoted to one another throughout their 50 years of marriage.
To learn more about Ismail and One Blink at a Time visit
Ismail requested that in lieu of flowers or other gifts, donations be made to the ALS Association for ALS Research.
Those who wish to make a donation in memory of Ismail to the Golden West Chapter of the ALS Association for Clinical Research may click on this link:
Golden West Community of Hope: In memory of Ismail Tsieprati - The ALS Association