This past week, Daniel Fleetwood, a terminally ill 32-year-old man from Texas, went viral. Suffering from the connective tissue cancer known as spindle cell sarcoma, he was told back in July that he only had two months to live. His dying wish was to see the long-awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens before the December 18th release date. Today, Disney made his wish come true.
Daniel’s wife, Ashley, announced in a Facebook post that director J.J. Abrams called them yesterday to say that his wish would be granted, and an unedited version of The Force Awakens was brought to Daniel’s home.
Here’s Ashley’s full message:
To all our wonderful supporters, friends, family and awesome strangers: Daniels final dream was just granted!!! Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilms made his final dream come true, in the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true!
Daniel just finished watching an unedited version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!! We would like to thank the awesomely talented JJ Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Danjel was getting his wish granted! We also would like to thank Lynne, Ben and Anahuac for coming to our home and screening the movie for Daniel. Lastly I want to thank ALL the amazing people who helped make this happen, thank you beyond words!!! May the force be with you all “smile emoticon” #forcefordaniel !!!!
The hashtag #ForceForDaniel flooded social media and caught the attention of Star Wars actors, including Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), John Boyega (Finn), and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). In seeing Ashley’s Facebook post, Hamill tweeted, “Thanks to the powers-that-be for making his dream come true.”
There was no doubt in my mind that Abrams would respond to the call. He arranged a similar early screening for an ill Star Trek fan who wanted to see Into Darkness before he passed, and the director is always talking about how The Force Awakens is for the fans. As such, Abrams must serve the fans — and he did.