On December 25, 2012 Reddit poster ‘ideeeyut’ posted a thread in the r/startrek subreddit titled “Please come to the rescue of a Star Trek fan.” The following day that same story was posted to the r/scifi subreddit.
The man who posted the link was the friend of ‘Dan’ a terminally ill cancer patient with a love of everything Star Trek related. In the post his friend begged that Dan be allowed to see the movie well before its release date.
Quoting the ill man’s wife:
“There is nothing left to do but make him comfortable, at 41, he is jaundice & his liver is enlarged, his body has had enough, he has weeks to live.”
Just hours after the Reddit post was established the social networks community of online activists took to the web, posting contact info for Paramount Pictures and even reaching out to family and friends in the film and TV industries. The first Reddit post quickly reached more than 300 upvotes while the sci-fi subreddit scored another 65 upvotes.
Soon after the post went live MTV Geek and ABC News picked up on the story. Shortly after the post went mainstream a friend of Dan’s with the Reddit handle ‘GradyHendrix’ wrote:
“Thanks everyone, and a huge thanks to OP ideeeyut for posting this. JJ Abrams just called Dan’s wife and left a message. He’s going to try to arrange a screening for Dan, either of the film or at least of the 9-minute promo reel.
GradyHendrix then proclaimed:
“I’ll never say anything bad about JJ Abrams again. Seriously. He is now beyond reproach as far as I’m concerned.”
Later in the day ideeeyut sent the following update:
“Holy cow everybody!!! I just heard from his wife that they are going to do it!! I don’t know who it what the path was to get there but thank you so much to everyone that tried to help!!!”
Sure enough three days later JJ Abrams and Paramount Pictures provided Dan with a private screening of the new Star Trek movie.
So what did Dan think of the movie? He said he loved it.