Terminally Ill Star Wars Fan Makes Dying Wish to See The Force Awakens Early: 'I Hope I Get to See What Happens'
"I'm speaking out and want this so badly because Star Wars is my life," Daniel Fleetwood tells PEOPLE
Daniel Fleetwood likely won t be alive for the nationwide release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Dec. 18, so the 32-year-old is asking to see the movie early as his final dying wish.
In 2012, Daniel was diagnosed with spindle cell carcinoma, a type of cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
On Monday, he found out that 90 percent of his lungs are filled with tumors, and on Tuesday, he beat his doctor’s prognosis giving him just two months to live.
“I am pushing through this,” says Daniel, who takes frequent breaks to catch his breath. “I’m still here.”
Daniel has been a fan of Star Wars ever since his father showed him the original movies when he was about 8 years old. Now, the Houston, Texas, native – who says he “dreams” about the series, writes fan fiction about it and follows all the message boards – is doing everything in his power to make his dream come true.
“If I got to see the movie, I might actually die from happiness,” he tells PEOPLE. “Growing up, I would watch the movies over and over and analyze every little detail. I hope I get to see what happens.”
As part of his campaign, he started a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #ForceForDaniel with Ashley, his college sweetheart and wife of five years.
Two of the film s biggest stars, Mark Hamill, who famously plays Luke Skywalker and John Boyega, who plays Finn, are also showing their support. The actors both retweeted a local news story with the campaign s hashtag.
Force For Daniel
Daniel isn’t in this fight alone.
“However strong I am in this situation, Ashley is even stronger because she chose to be in this situation,” he says. “She stuck by my side when it really mattered and that’s amazing in itself.”
Ashley, 29, says she’s “grateful” that her husband is still alive and that she’s in awe of his ability to rally through his terminal illness.
“Star Wars is magic for Daniel, she says. “I just want to see him get his final wish.”
She has also created a fundraising campaign to help with his steep medical costs.
Besides seeing Star Wars, Daniel says he has also checked “the most important things” off his bucket list.
“I just want to spend time with friends and family, listen to music and do the things I love,” he says. “That’s how I want to spend my days.” He s also crossed off playing the lotto, making homemade ice cream and seeing close friends he wanted to say goodbye to.
This past summer, Ashley took him on a cruise to Belize and Cancun to check off “seeing blue beaches and sandy shores,” and although he was quite sick, “he wanted to do it so that s all that matters,” she says.
“Even if he can’t see the movie before it comes out, we are both blown away by the love and support we have received from people,” says Ashley. “His spirit has been lifted.”