Strong-willed, funny, and charismatic, Paralympic champion wheelchair-racer Marieke Vervoort’s time is running out. At 37, a debilitating, chronic illness she has had for more than 20 years has begun to take its toll. As Marieke’s strength falters and her body begins to fail, she decides to take control by signing papers to die by euthanasia, the controversial procedure of medically-assisted death.
Liberated and empowered by now having the legal permission to die, Marieke again discovers the freedom and thrill of living and of competition. Recovering her sense of self-determination, over the next decade, Marieke postpones her decision to die. Through sheer willpower and strength of character, she wins Gold in wheelchair-racing in the Paralympic Games and World Championships.
Even as her health deteriorates, her spirit soars. While managing the struggle and emotions of friends and family as they try to accept her decision, Marieke continues to live life to the max, addicted to the adrenaline and adventure of international travel, intense competition, media attention, and a wildly physical bucket list, including indoor-skydiving and bungee-jumping.
Throughout, Marieke draws people to her: fans, girlfriends, celebrities, and other people with disabilities. With virtually unlimited access, ADDICTED TO LIFE intimately documents this determined, vulnerable, and astonishing athlete through the dramatic events of her final inspirational three years, during which Marieke’s acceptance of death becomes an affirmation of life. In this timely film, Marieke’s story demystifies one of the most controversial issues of our time.