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Daniel Fleetwood has been a "Star Wars" fan as long as he can remember.

Not his toys, but could be. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


He grew up watching the films with his father, adorned the walls of his bedroom with posters, collected all the action figures, and regularly cosplayed as members from both the light and dark sides of the force when that time of year rolled around (and often when it didn't), according to a recent article in The Washington Post. He's done everything short of bull's-eyeing a womp rat with his T-16.

Daniel met his future wife, Ashley, during his senior year of college. She had never even seen a “Star Wars" movie at the time. But when faced with his unwavering fanaticism, she was soon seduced into the lore of the franchise and became a fan for life, the Post reported.

Daniel and Ashley got married in 2010, and their love of the epic space saga continued to blossom alongside their love for each other.

Sadly, Daniel was diagnosed in 2012 with spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of tissue cancer.

When surgery failed to cure him, the cancer soon spread to his lungs. In September, he was told he had two months to live.

The diagnosis was devastating for the obvious reasons — no one wants to be torn away from their loved ones. Ashley knew there were just plain old life things that Daniel would miss, too. In particular, the highly anticipated seventh chapter in the "Star Wars" franchise, "The Force Awakens," is set to be released on Dec. 18.

If the doctor's timeline was correct, Daniel wouldn't be with her that long.

So Ashley launched an online effort to fulfill Daniel's dying wish to see an early screening of "The Force Awakens," rallying support with the hashtag #ForceforDaniel.


The campaign gained steam over the course of a week or so. Then Ashley received extraordinary news.

Daniel's wish would be granted, complete with a phone call from “Force" director J.J. Abrams.

Ashley wrote about the moment on her Facebook page on Nov. 5:

"To all our wonderful supporters, friends, family and awesome strangers: Daniel's final dream was just granted!!! Today the wonderful Disney and Lucasfilms made his final dream come true, in the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true!

Daniel just finished watching an unedited version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!! We would like to thank the awesomely talented JJ Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Daniel was getting his wish granted!"

The outpouring of support for Daniel in the time since has been overwhelming, to say the least.

The couple's GoFundMe page to support Daniel's exhaustive medical bills has already received over $40,000 in donations, and Ashley's phone has been “ringing off the hook" with press requests to spread their incredible story.

“I feel a weight has been lifted for me by knowing he got his final wish," she wrote on Facebook.

“I want to thank ALL the amazing people who helped make this happen, thank you beyond words!!! May the force be with you all!!"

This isn't the first time Abrams has made such a heartwarming gesture. Two years ago, he granted a terminally ill "Star Trek" fan the opportunity to see an early edit of “Star Trek: Into Darkness" just days before he passed away. Likewise, Pixar studios sent a DVD copy of “Up" to 10-year-old Colby Curtin to fulfill her dying wish.

Daniel exceeded his doctor's expectations and continued to fight the good fight with each passing day.

He's been made an honorary Jedi Knight by a “Star Wars" fan club and received a gift that most fans could only dream of. It's safe to say that the force is definitely strong with him — and also with the good people who helped make his dream come true.

Update: After a fight with an aggressive form of cancer, Daniel Fleetwood has passed away, his wife Ashley announced on Nov. 10. In a Facebook post accompanied by a selfie, she wrote about her final moments with her husband.

"Daniel put up an amazing fight to the very end. He is now one with God and with the force. He passed in his sleep and in peace. He will always be my idol and my hero. Please hug uncle Marc for me and give Lucy lots of kisses. Rest in peace my love. This was the last selfie we ever took together. #‎forcefordaniel"
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The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

This week's finds include an adorable baby's first 'Dada,' an appreciative delivery driver, an angel rocking out to 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' and more.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Ho ho ho, happy humans!

It's that time of the week again, when we gather together the most smile-worthy tidbits of the past seven days and share them with you all. As the lucky person who gets to wrap them up in a nice, shiny, virtual bow, I'm delighted to tell you that this week's list is awesome. They always are—that's kind of the point—but this week I can practically guarantee you're going to be brimming with joy by the end.

Right out of the gate, we've got baby giggles. I mean, come on. Who can resist baby giggles?

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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Moms don't have to be hard to shop for. Here are gifts she'll love.

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Every year, moms put on their elf hats and become Santa's helpers. They shop for and wrap the family's presents, cook the holiday meal, organize the crafts and even set out cookies for the big guy. They're so busy making the holiday season magical for their family that oftentimes they don't get any time to rest.

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