Patrick Stewart Surprises Make-a-Wish Trekkie at DragonCon
There is no denying it: Sir Patrick Stewart is a legend. In fact, he is one of the greatest and well-loved legends of our time. And he appears to age at a much slower rate than the rest of us – he looks just as he did when he first graced our screens as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation almost 30 years ago.
It isn’t just on the big screen or theatre that he shows us just what a brilliant person he is, either. Just type his name into YouTube and you have videos upon videos of the great man (often with his bestie, Sir Ian McKellen) that will bring tears of laughter streaming down your face.
And on top of all that is his charity work and activism against domestic violence. He really is the type of person we should all aspire to be.
And he has done it again (and you might want the tissues for this one)!
After hearing that a little girl (and HUGE Star Trek fan) would be attending DragonCon 2014 through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, at the same time as him, he arranged to meet her.
Dawn Garrigus, 11, from Georgia in the US, has a rare progressive and chronic mitochondrial disease. The condition can cause problems with development, as well as mental and physical disability.
Because of her illness, Dawn was offered a wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation, so she told them that she really wanted to go to DragonCon 2014, which was being held in her home state. DragonCon is a fantasy and sci-fi convention, with Star Trek often featuring heavily. The little Trekkie would be in her element there in her full Captain Spock costume – complete with Vulcan ears.
Although Dawn was told him August that her wish had been granted and she would be able to attend the event, Sir Patrick’s meet-and-greet was kept under wraps, and Mini-Spock didn’t know anything about it until mere moments before. Photographer James Barker, taking pictures for DragonCon, was on hand to capture the magical moment Dawn met Captain Picard.
She said that she didn’t know what to say to him at first because she was shy, but he kept talking to her until she was comfortable. “I felt like I was on the Enterprise talking to the captain,” she explained. “And suddenly, I was okay.”
Mr Barker posted a photo of the pair hugging on his Facebook page, describing it as one of his favourite pictures from DragonCon that year.
Sir Patrick spent a little time with Dawn and her family, signing autographs and posing for more pictures, before going off to address a 2000-strong legion of fans.
Danny and Kristy, Dawn’s parents, explained that their daughter’s illness can cause her to feel isolated and make it difficult for her to relate to other children her age, but the meeting with Sir Patrick had made her look happier than she had for some time.
“We’ve seen a very positive response,” they said. “Her brief visit with Sir Patrick has alleviated that feeling which we cannot begin to express gratitude for.”
Dawn’s parents have also sent an open message out to Sir Pat, just so he knows just what an impact he has made: “You have made a mark on her and our life that will never be forgotten!”’