Dying ‘Star Wars’ Fan Campaigns To See ‘Episode VII’ Before Cancer Takes His Life, Hamill And Boyega Express Support [Update]
A Houston, Texas, man suffering from an aggressive form of cancer has been given only a couple of months to live. A fan of the Star Wars franchise since he was a young boy, he is campaigning for Disney to allow him to preview the movie before it is released, allowing him to see the newest episode before he dies.
Daniel Fleetwood is 32-years-old and suffers from spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of connective tissue cancer, according to Metro. In July, doctors gave him only two months to live. Since then, his overall health has appeared to become better, but internally his cancer has progressed rapidly.
Fleetwood, worried that he would not be alive for the official release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, decided to reach out to his local media and see if he could his story could reach film executives and grant him an early preview of the film. As a life long fan, Fleetwood is excited about the newest episode but does not think he will be alive on the actual release date.
“Judging by how progressive the disease has gotten in the past two months, I really don’t think that I’ll be able to make it.”
When he was only 21, Fleetwood graced the local newspapers when he camped out to be one of the first people to buy tickets for Revenge of the Sith. Now, his appearance in the news is not such a happy one.
Daniel’s wife, Ashley, expressed his wishes on Facebook, where it was quickly shared on Reddit. Shortly thereafter, the hashtag #ForceForDaniel became the symbol for other Star Wars fans to show their support for Daniel to see the film early.
Daniel’s wife supports his love for the Star Wars franchise and commends his commitment, especially since his life is so close to the end.
“It’s a commitment and he still has that commitment, that drive, and that love and I think that it’s a beautiful thing. Even if it’s just a movie. That’s magic for a lot of people.”
If Disney follows its historical compassionate form, it is suspected that Daniel will see Star Wars: Episode VII before it is released. According to the Telegraph, Pixar sent an employee to the bedside of a 10-year-old girl in 2009 with a copy of Up. Colby Curtin was able to see the movie before it released, and just in time; she passed away the following day.
In addition to his wife’s support, Fleetwood has gained the support of some high-profile actors, a few of which appear in the newest episode of Star Wars. Mark Hamill, John Boyega, and Gwendoline Christie have all voiced their support for Daniel to receive an extra special sneak preview of The Force Awakens. Although he has their support, Disney executives have not reached out to Fleetwood to confirm or deny that they will grant his final wish.
J.J. Abrams has also kept silent regarding Fleetwood’s wish. It is unknown whether he will also campaign for Daniel to receive the sneak peek.
Daniel’s wife has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for his medical bills. On the page, she has shared many images that portray his love for Star Wars, as well as details on his health.
Daniel’s health is not going to improve, instead it will only get worse. He has stated that, at this point, he is hanging on as long as he can so he can see the latest Star Wars film.
“I just love Star Wars and… with everything I got, I love Star Wars. Please do what you can. Help me.”
After the story was picked up by a multitude of news outlets, the support for Daniel was overwhelming. Film executives heard the pleas from his supporters and allowed Daniel to view the unedited version of the The Force Awakens.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images Entertainment]