NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A viral social media campaign to grant a terminal cancer patient's dying wish to see the new "Star Wars" movie has strong connections to Nacogdoches.
Daniel Fleetwood, of Spring, grew up in Nacogdoches and later obtained an undergraduate and a master's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.
East Texas News talked with Fleetwood's professors to see how they're lending support.
"I just love Star Wars," Fleetwood said. "With everything I got, I love Star Wars."
Fleetwood and his wife Ashley, both SFA graduates, have another kind of force behind them. It's their alma mater's Human Services Department.
"It's Force for Daniel," said Dr. Al Larson, an assistant professor of rehabilitation at SFA.
Larson keeps a close watch on the Facebook page developed to influence movie executives to show Daniel the unreleased movie. The sight has gone viral.
"I've seen stories in Italy, Spain, Brazil. The Star Wars actors, past and present, have gotten behind it," Larson said.
One professor recalls advising Daniel about the importance of patience when dealing with debilitating illnesses.
"You can win the battle but lose the war, and you need to be a little more subtle when dealing with the forces that are there," said Dr. Bill Weber, a rehabilitation counseling professor at SFA.
Daniel is running out of patience and time while facing terminal cancer.
"I really don't think that I'll be able to make it," Daniel said.
"So if he doesn't get to see the movie, the fact that he's moved so many people to think about him and have concern for him is a beautiful thing," Parsons said.
Larson will travel to Houston Wednesday to say good bye to Daniel.
"We're going around today getting signatures," Larson said. "He was wearing a shirt that said, 'Vader don't care,' so I made up a little thing that said, 'But Lumberjacks do.'"
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is set to open in theaters on December 18. Daniel is hoping Walt Disney Studios will allow him to screen the movie early.
Disney producers have granted a similar wish for a dying patient wanting to see a movie.
Note: In the original story Mr. Larson was misidentified. My regrets.