Star Wars and popular geek culture have the power to bring people together for a good cause. We see it every year at San Diego Comic-Con when the goodwill of fanboys and girls from around the world come together and celebrate the movies, TV shows, and comic books they love. That love and celebration was extended to one Star Wars fan who suffers from a rare connective tissue cancer called spindle cell sarcoma.
Star Wars superfan Daniel Fleetwood was only given two months left to live after he received the terrible news back in July. He and his wife Ashley knew he wouldn't be alive to see the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December, so she started an online campaign with the hashtag #ForceForDaniel to get the attention of Disney and Lucasfilm to grant him his final wish. While Daniel got the opportunity to watch The Force Awakens early at his home, he tragically died five short days later at age 32.
Ashley Fleetwood posted the news of her husband's passing last night on her Facebook account. Daniel died peacefully in his sleep, as she expressed her gratitude to all the Star Wars fans from around the world for helping him watch The Force Awakens early. She writes:
"Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end. He is now one with God and with the force. He passed in his sleep and in peace. He will always be my idol and my hero. Please hug uncle Marc for me and give Lucy lots of kisses. Rest in peace my love. This was the last selfie we ever took together. #forcefordaniel"
The #ForceForDaniel fan campaign spread like wild fire across the Internet, as it got the attentions of Star Wars stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Meyhew, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega, who shared and spread the word about Daniel Fleetwood. Disney and Lucasfilm received the request and granted Daniel access to watch the new Star Wars film early. He even got the opportunity to talk with director J.J. Abrams before watching The Force Awakens.
Our deepest condolences to Ashley and their family. If you'd like to help the Fleetwoods, a GoFundMe account was set up to help with their medical bills and other expenses.
Source: Ashley Fleetwood