Saying goodbye to Daniel Fleetwood, the 'Star Wars' superfan who stole our hearts
The world is mourning the loss of Daniel Fleetwood, the Star Wars superfan who lost his battle with cancer today. He was 32 years old.
The Internet community fell in love with Daniel, and rallied around him, when we learned that we was a massive Star Wars fan with terminal cancer who was doing everything he could to hang onto life long enough to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“If I got to see the movie, I might actually die from happiness,” Daniel told People last week. “Growing up, I would watch the movies over and over and analyze every little detail. I hope I get to see what happens.”
Thousands took to social media using the hashtag #ForceForDaniel to raise awareness and make Disney aware of Daniel’s plight, imploring the company to grant him his dying wish. #ForceForDaniel became a social media movement, with Star Wars stars like Mark Hamill joining in to help get Daniel an early screening of the film. Last Thursday, his dream came true: JJ Abrams called Daniel and his wife, Ashley, to inform them that he could watch the unfinished film via private screening in his own home.
It seems that after having his wish granted, Daniel was able to let go. Five days later, early this morning, Ashley confirmed Daniel’s passing in a Facebook post.
“Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end. He is now one with God and with the force,” Ashley wrote in the post. “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.” Over 11,000 have shared the post, expressing their condolences.
Now the same people who rallied together to get Daniel a screening of the film are expressing their grief and respect by using the very hashtag they used to give him his last wish.
There is also a new crowdfunding campaign taking over the Internet to help Ashley pay for medical and funeral costs on GoFundMe.
With the goal set to $100,000, over 1,400 people have raised almost $50,000 for Ashley, and that number keeps on climbing. If you’d like to help the Fleetwoods, you can donate here.
Our hearts are with Daniel’s family and loved ones. May the force be with you, Daniel.
(Images via Twitter, Facebook.)