Today, one man is completing a roughly 600-mile walk from San Francisco to San Diego… dressed as a stormtrooper. And while you might think it was all for fun, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Kevin Doyle made the journey in honor of his wife, Eileen Shige Doyle, an artist and avid “Star Wars” fan who passed away from pancreatic cancer in November 2012. He is also trying to raise funds for a charity he created in her name, Eileen’s Little Angels.
The organization plans to set up art lessons at children’s hospitals for children currently battling cancer. They will also be donating books, blankets, and toys, along with Eileen’s artwork, and organizing visits by people dressed up as superheroes and “Star Wars” characters.
“It is my hope that this walk will help me to heal and give my life purpose by sharing Eileen’s spirit through her artwork with children battling cancer and put a little sunshine into their lives,” Doyle wrote on his Crowdrise page.
Eileen was first diagnosed with cancer years ago. “For 12 months she called Abbott Northwestern Hospital her home, suffering through days of treatment that nearly killed her, only to repeat it over and over until she had finally beat it,” Doyle wrote on Crowdrise. “Eileen continued on with hope and family as she lived each day never looking back, living in the moment with a new life in front of her.”
Eileen was re-diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma in 2011, and passed away 13 months later.
Doyle began his walk on June 6 at the famous Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, California, which is home to the world’s largest collection of “Star Wars” memorabilia. Walking anywhere between 20 to 45 miles per day, today he is set to reach San Diego Comic-Con, one of the largest sci-fi and comic book conventions on the planet.
Along the way, he’s been offered places to stay by the 501st Legion, a volunteer community of costumed “Star Wars” enthusiasts.
“I get people that come up to me who are fighting cancer or are cancer survivors, people and their families and they just want to talk to me and thank me for raising awareness,” Doyle told The Coast News.
“For me, it’s just me walking to honor my wife, but then people are gathering and making it really special. And they’re making it personal for them, which I hadn’t accounted for — that people would receive me in that way.”
Learn more about the Eileen’s Little Angels Foundation here.