As a society, we get hung up on some pretty insubstantial stuff in the scheme of things. We confuse wants with needs, and often let the mundanity of day-to-day life bring what would otherwise be small inconveniences into greater focus than they deserve. It's life, and I submit, it's simply a matter of wiring in many ways. I'm not suggesting we're bad, I'm simply saying we're us.
Still, sometimes you see something that provides a little clarity, offering a measuring stick by which to compare our gripes and desires to genuine hardships, and how experiencing said hardships can make the very small things we love vastly important.
The folks at Giant Freakin' Robot posted a story from Reddit regarding, I believe, a fairly simple plea.
Allow a terminally ill lover of sci-fi an early opportunity to see ' Star Trek Into Darkness before he dies.
Per the original post on Reddit's Star Trek channel:
Hello Reddit. 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 fucker?) 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. TLDR; My friend is dying. Would like to see the new Star Trek movie. Please help. At the least, upvote to get to front page for someone else to see. Please.
The brightness in what is admittedly a miserable, depressing story, is that not four days after the Reddit post going live, Abrams has reached out to provide this man and his family a small respite from their pain.
Continued via Collider, a friend of the terminally ill man responded to the Reddit thread with further details confirming the legitimacy of the story, saying:
I just wanted to say that I know and work with Dan (the guy who’s dying) but I don’t know the OP. Dan’s been running the New York Asian Film Festival with me and a few other guys for years. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of all of this, I use my actual name as my Reddit name, and you can visit the NYAFF (New York Asian Film Festival) page on Facebook. If you still have doubts that are keeping you from helping, feel free to email me:email@example.com.
Moments later, Grady posted again:
Thanks everyone, and a huge thanks to OP ideeyut for posting this. JJ Abrams just called Dan’s wife and left a message. He’s going to try to arrange a screening for Dan, either of the film or at least of the 9 minute promo reel…I’ll never say anything bad about JJ Abrams again. Seriously. He is now beyond reproach as far as I’m concerned.
Perhaps things like this, specifically, hit me harder because I'm both an enormous fan of science fiction in film, and I've watched people I care for deeply fight, win...and sometimes lose their valiant fights with cancer. Film is an escape for all of us, and I submit none so more than the sci-fi genre. Dan, the focus of the Reddit entry, loves Star Trek; one of the most robust and enduring examples of our love affair with space, the wild variety of creatures and civilizations that just might exist somewhere in its vastness, and what our nature as explorers could produce in a world of scientific advancement and human cooperation.
For me, sci-fi films are just great fun, and something I get the great benefit of discussing with my friends at length, and at my leisure. For Dan, it might be a final opportunity to experience that wonderful feeling of escape with his family surrounding him. It's a small but powerful gesture from J.J. that could provide an enduring, happy memory in what are otherwise tragic circumstances.
Good on you, Mr. Abrams.