A Dream Fulfilled

When I was a kid, I LIVED for thrills and awesome experiences that put me into my favorite stories. Action movies? Yes. At the cinema? Oh yeah! Disneyland? Sweet mother of monkey milk, yes. If I wasn’t living some adventure, I was pretending I was.

When I got older, I decided that I wanted to give those thrills to others, 20151029_120525and that’s one of the reasons I started writing. But I wanted to not only create awesome experiences on the page, but for people to experience physically. This is one of the reasons I started to cosplay.

I didn’t start cosplaying or training people in lightsaber combat just to go see sick kids in the hospital, but when the opportunity came up, I had to go for it. Some of these kids have to live at the hospital for months at a time, and they’ve watched ALL the movies and cartoons, played ALL their games, read ALL their books and are just bored of being a sick kid living at the hospital. If I could bring some smiles, some inspiration, I had to try.

12187696_10205277473276673_3278218316567206068_nI have a friend who was going to the MD Anderson Fall Festival to give 20151029_120654away some books. MD Anderson is one of the premier cancer treatment centers in the US, so it was a privilege to be there. And from the moment I walked in the doors, the people and staff there were so friendly and helpful. They have a well-deserved reputation there. I ran into an architect who had designed parts of the building and she escorted me to where I needed to go!

It was so great to see both childrens’ and adults’ eyes light up when then saw us. My friend Holly was also there as a Jedi, and my friend and esteemed publisher, Fernanda Brady, was womanning a booth where she gave out her books. I won’t say much about the children except that they were all having a great time.

20151029_120327For anyone reading this who wants to donate their time in 12066016_10153336694629069_2085692478378581553_nsimilar fashion, always try to keep a high energy and always remember that you are there for them. If you ever feel yourself becoming emotional for some reason, you need to excuse yourself (I’m getting a call from the Jedi Council, I’ll be right back), and take a moment outside to cry or work through it. Then go back. You want them to remember their moments with a Jedi/superhero/movie character/etc.; you don’t want them to remember that character coming and then crying and depressing everyone.

We had a great time, and they even kept an area open for us so we could do drills back and forth and do some saber spinning, and although I couldn’t watch their faces while we were doing our thing, I think they liked to see it. One boy was dressed as a Sith and we did an impromptu battle and he force-choked me to death at the end. I was really happy to be able to do this, to bring those thrills and memories, and hope they let us come back again.

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