Update: ForceForDaniel's Daniel Fleetwood passes away
UPDATE: Sadly, Daniel's wife, Ashley, posted a message on Facebook letting everyone know that he had passed yesterday. Daniel was able to see an unfinished cut of THE FORCE AWAKENS thanks to fans rallying behind him with the #ForceForDaniel movement, which prompted Lucasfilm and JJ Abrams to reach out and allow him to see it before he died. See Ashley's update below: (PS)
Much too often fandom can take an ugly turn. Things that were supposed to be inclusive turn exclusive. Cliques take shape and suck the fun out of something that used to be enjoyable. People get mean and nasty in their ownership over a passion that many begin to pull away, wondering why they should even bother. All you need to do is spend a few minutes on the internet and you can see how bad things can get when you stick fandom under a microscope.
And then something like what transpired today happens, and it gives you hope. It shines a light on the good things that fandom is capable of, and it reminds us of the community environment that can exist when we all come together in a positive way rather than the toxicity that plagues it far too frequently.
Daniel Fleetwood has gotten to see STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.
Now, in the event that you haven't been following why that's meaningful, let me bring you up to speed.
Daniel Fleetwood had been diagnosed with a rare connective tissue cancer known as spindle cell sarcoma, and back in July he was given two months to live. With very little time left, Daniel's dying wish in many ways was to have a chance to see the new STAR WARS film as soon as it might be possible, not knowing if he'd still be around in December when the film finally sees its official release.
STAR WARS fans everywhere took to Twitter with the hashtag #ForceForDaniel in the hopes of raising awareness for this situation with the right people... and, in recent days, both John Boyega and Mark Hamill have caught wind of it and joined the social media cause.
Today Daniel's wife Ashley took to Facebook to fill everyone who has rallied to this cause in on the progress of this movement.
These are the moments that make you proud to be a fan of anything, that make you feel good about the passion you've given so much of yourself to over time. This was a man who was terminally ill and simply wished for an opportunity to have one more go with this thing he loved so dearly before he had to say good-bye... and the passion turned around and took care of him. He helped one of its own, putting a smile on his face and lifting his spirits at a time when it was needed badly.
This is good stuff right here that should warm your heart. The right thing was done, and the Force was proven to be with Daniel Fleetwood.
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