The spirit of Star Trek

The social networking site, Reddit, has done it again.

This story starts, as they all do, with a post on Reddit, in this case from a woman whose husband was dying of leukemia. He wanted to see the new Star Trek movie.

I’ve seen some amazingly kind and generous stuff happen on here. I’m hoping there’s room for another amazing act of generosity and kindness for a friend of mine who is really sick. I couldn’t begin to put into words what he has gone through. Luckily his wife did it for me… “My amazing healthy film buff husband diagnosed with leukemia (CML) at 38 had to endure 3 rounds of chemo before they found a bone marrow donor match had a Bone Marrow Transplant, which was MORE chemo, full body radiation & lots of other horrific things….then endured/survived 3 major infections + a massive GI bleed that put him in the hospital 10+ times over 3 1/2 years not to mention 100’s of doctors visits…. he is my hero; I am his caregiver – I would do anything to help him…. he is now ravaged by a new TOTALLY UNRELATED cancer, (isn’t that a ******?) an aggressive and EXTREMELY rare vascular tumor that is crowding out his healthy liver tissue… they grew under treatment; there is nothing left to do but make him comfortable, at 41, he is jaundice & his liver is enlarged, his body has had enough, he has weeks to live, He was hospitalized and had to exchange our HOBBITT tickets (where the 10 min Star Trek preview was supposed to be shown) we were able to put him in a car and get over to the HOBBITT but NO PREVIEW???? we, his friends and family, the love of my life – WOULD LOVE him to be able to see the Star Trek movie but even the 10 minutes of the trailer would be AMAZING.” If there is anything any one of you or anyone you know could do to make this happen that would be an amazing, kind and generous thing. Please help. Thanks.

Reddit fans picked up the cause and the director of the movie made it happen.

A friend of the man, who died a few days later, posted the story:

I don’t come to this subreddit much, but I wanted to publicly thank all of you here on r/StarTrek and especially ideeyut who started this thread for Dan. I want all of you to know what you did.

Dan was super-bummed that he hadn’t gotten a chance to see the 9 minute Star Trek: Into Darkness teaser before The Hobbit. He’s a big movie fan, and one of the directors of the New York Asian Film Festival, and movies mean a lot to him. He has known he’s dying for a few weeks and he wanted to see as many movies as possible before he went. When ideeyut started that thread for him to get a chance to somehow see Into Darkness it seemed like a long-shot, and it had a hard time getting traction. Other Reddit boards didn’t upvote it much, and I figured it was a nice try, doomed to failure. But you guys wouldn’t let it disappear, and as you upvoted ideeyut’s post some of you also took to Twitter and Facebook. Word got out. The press picked it up. A lot of different people started making noise about this online and word traveled fast and got to the right people through a variety of channels. But it started here, and it started with ideeyut and you guys.

A day or so after the thread began, Paige, Dan’s wife, got a voicemail from JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof that was very nice and very straightforward: a producer for the movie would get in touch with them. The next day, one of the film’s producers showed up at the door of their apartment with a DVD containing a very rough cut of Star Trek: Into Darkness in his hands. Paige had made popcorn, Dan had spent the previous day resting so he could sit through the movie, and after signing about 200 non-disclosure agreements they watched the film and had a blast.

Afterwards, Dan got back into bed, exhausted, and didn’t get out again. Yesterday he was pretty non-responsive and Paige took him to the hospital for hospice care. Last night, at 10:15pm, with Paige and his brother in his room, Dan died. The last thing he got to do that gave him pleasure was watch the new Star Trek movie. And it’s because of you.

At a time when he didn’t have a whole lot to look forward to, r/StarTrek, JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bad Robot performed a simple act of kindness for a total stranger and gave Dan something to be excited about for a couple of days. The movie did exactly what movies are supposed to do, it helped him forget about his problems for a couple of hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but in this case it was.

Dan was pretty clear that he didn’t want to be the inspirational cancer story of the week, but I wanted you all to know what you had done, and how much it meant. At the risk of sounding all grand like the prologue to LOTR or something, Reddit can be a force for great evil, or a force for great good. Every day, all of us come together here and choose which. This time, you all chose kindness, and it made a huge difference to Dan, his wife, and his friends. So thank you ideeyut, and thank you r/StarTrek. You should all be proud of yourselves. Thank you.

  • Robert Moffitt

    In a famous SNL skit, William Shatner played himself at a Star Trek fan convention, where he mercilessly mocked the costumed fanboys (and fangirls) and told them to “get a life.”

    As this touching story shows, some did.