A Stormtrooper with a Cause

Kevin D assembles his walking gear on the Twin Cities 3-Day, dressing as a Stormtrooper from Star Wars on his fight to end breast cancer.

Kevin D. assembles his walking gear on the Twin Cities 3-Day

“I’m Eileen’s husband,” says Kevin this morning as he assembled his walking gear before sunrise. “Oh, and I’m a Stormtrooper,” he adds in a nonchalant way. It’s true. I had noticed him stride out of the Opening Ceremony two days ago in his full Star Wars gear, highlighted with a pink and white armband with a dedication to his wife. At first I thought the highly recognizable Star Wars costume was simply another fun way to walk the 60-mile route, but this was a dedication to Eileen who passed away in November 2012. They had met through the 501st, an international Star Wars organization, and both had matching Stormtrooper costumes and often worked with charities to brighten the mood and raise much needed funds.

Kevin D emerges from his pink tent to walk Day 3 of the Twin Cities 3-Day in honor of his wife

Kevin D. emerges from his pink tent to walk Day 3 of the Twin Cities 3-Day in honor of his wife

“We actually met for the first time in 2006, but she didn’t know who it was because I was in a Star Wars costume!” laughed Kevin. “We met officially one year later.” He flashed the photograph of him–very unrecognizable–in one of the variations of the costumes with Eileen smiling beside him, an arm wrapped around the white hardened plastic, unknowing that this would be her future husband. “I proposed to her in a friend’s Darth Vader’s suit!” He also confirmed that with a picture. (He did take off the mask to propose.) The memories, however, brought back tears, and Kevin stood in a field of disassembled pink tents remembering the legacy of his wife.

Twin Cities 3 Day Storm Trooper Breast Cancer Awareness Star Wars

Kevin D. embraces a neighboring walker at camp on the Twin Cities 3-Day as they remember his wife Eileen

“Eileen started walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® many years ago,” explained Kevin. “She has an aunt who is a breast cancer survivor, and she became a strong supporter of the Komen 3-Day over the past several years. This is my first 3-Day, and I’m doing this in her honor. I want to continue to do more around the country.” As we talked, a participant who had been tenting nearby exclaimed that she had known Eileen, and the two embraced remembering this extraordinary woman. The 3-Day offers much more than an opportunity to help others by raising money for breast cancer research; it offers the chance to heal, and we see this over and over as participants who have lost friends, family, wives, husbands, mothers, daughters, aunts, and grandmothers pick up a flag, a banner, a symbol of their loved one and step out onto the street to honor a wonderful life.

Good luck to the Twin Cities 3-Day walkers today in the heat and through the Closing Ceremony!

in memory breast cancer star wars storm trooper

Kevin’s armband dedicates his walk to his wife

Kevin as a stormtrooper moves out onto the route after the Opening Ceremony on the Twin Cities 3-Day, to the delight of children and adults on the route breast cancer

Kevin as a stormtrooper moves out onto the route after the Opening Ceremony on the Twin Cities 3-Day, to the delight of children and adults on the route

2 thoughts on “A Stormtrooper with a Cause

  1. Pingback: Who is into Star Wars? - Page 64

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s