A dying Star Wars fan’s wish has been granted, after the viral efforts of social media grabbed the attention of Disney. CNN reports that 32-year-old Daniel Fleetwood has been given the chance to screen an unedited version of the latest installment in the beloved science fiction series.
A Disney rep has confirmed with media sources that Daniel Fleetwood has watched the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and it’s all thanks to a viral social media campaign which used the hashtag #ForceForDaniel. The campaign went viral in just days, with thousands of people on social media sharing pictures of the man, along with his story of bravery in the face of terminal cancer.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) November 5, 2015
Fleetwood suffers from a terminal form of cancer known as spindle cell sarcoma, and is not expected to live to see the official release date of the upcoming movie. That’s because he was diagnosed with just two months to live back in July. He has already beaten the diagnosis by about a month, but there could be only so much optimism in his situation, with the official release being scheduled for the end of December. That is why his “dying wish” has been to see the movie in an early screening.
The 32-year-old man has been a fan of the Star Wars franchise since he was a child, making him a lifelong lover of George Lucas’s creation. The viral campaign surrounding this man’s wish was not only shared by average users of social media, but also by the stars of the popular movie series who participated and made use of the #ForceForDaniel hashtag. Ultimately, Disney could not ignore the touching outpouring of support for the young man. This is not the only time a social media campaign has helped in granting a dying person’s last wishes. Earlier this year a 32-year-old British mom expressed the dying wish to meet singer Ali Campbell. The Sunday Express reported that a social media campaign helped in granting the woman’s wish, and she was able to meet the member of popular pop group UB40.
— Carolyn Rea (@The_Gilbert_23) April 17, 2015
Also this year, famed rap star Eminem made the dying wish of one of his fans come true when he spent some quality time with him, one-on-one. The teen’s heartbreaking story attracted Eminem’s attention through a viral social media campaign. He learned that the fan had just a week to live, and was battling a rare form of bone cancer. As soon as he found out that the teen was knocking on death’s door, he flew out to meet him in his hometown of Rochester, Michigan (near Detroit where Eminem also hails), and was able to grant his dying wish. According to Time, it was a bittersweet event, however, because the young man died the following day.
— Chase After A Cure (@ChaseAfterACure) May 29, 2015
Taylor Swift has also helped in granting the wish of at least one dying fan. Earlier this year, she surprised a child with terminal brain cancer by giving her a personal video conference call for approximately 20 minutes. The child had attracted Swift’s attention with the campaign using the hashtag #ShakeItOffJalene.
The power of social media has been proven time and time again with campaigns that grab the attention of celebrities and powerful people. It’s thanks to the passionate help from people all over the world that Daniel Fleetwood’s dying wish has been granted. Now, he can at least hold this as a wonderful memory as he battles one of the scariest events a person can face.
[Image via Twitter]