KATY, TEXAS — A 6-year-old “Star Wars” fanatic undergoing treatment for a brain tumor was surprised by a storm trooper, imperial gunner and shoretrooper at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston.
Brodie Pursch, of Katy, Texas, was surprised by the famous characters on Monday after undergoing an MRI that could determine the end of his chemotherapy treatment. Brodie has received eight rounds of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 2015, according to his mother, Audrey Pursch.
Doctors have told Brodie’s family that positive results from Monday’s MRI would mean Brodie can ring a bell next week to signal the end of his chemotherapy treatment.
“He’s so excited,” Pursch said of Brodie, whom, she added, was “really overjoyed” to see the “Star Wars” characters at such an important time in his treatment.
Brodie, now a kindergarten student, underwent surgery in 2015 that removed nearly 70 percent of his brain tumor. He had to relearn how to walk and began chemotherapy last year to shrink the remainder of a tumor.
A photo of Brodie in a “Star Wars” shirt on his Facebook page, Battle for Brodie, caught the eye of a friend of Pursch’s whose husband is a member of “Star Wars” fan group 501st Legion.
The Legion member, Karl Gehring, and two friends, Jack Sauder and Andrew Melton, decided to surprise Brodie at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital to bring him some cheer.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through what those kids are going through,” said Gehring, who makes a few hospital visits each year dressed in “Star Wars” gear. “If we can take them out of that situation and give them an opportunity to be something else for a short period of time, it’s a wonderful gift.”
Lisa Hafemeister, division administrator for MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, echoed the idea that visits like the one Brodie received from the “Star Wars” characters are important to recovery.
“Patient programs, activities and special visits are so rewarding to our patients,” Hafemeister said in a statement. “Special visits like this helps kids be kids and takes their mind off of what they are going through.”
Brodie was particularly fascinated to learn if the characters were real.
“We told him we were positioned on the Death Star,” Gehring said. “And he said he couldn’t wait to tell his classmates that the Death Star was real and that he met us.”
Pursch recalled her son saying, “Oh my goodness,” at the first sight of the characters in the hospital.
“They said, ‘We’re the real ones who traveled from a galaxy far, far away,’” Pursch said. “Brodie said, ‘You came from up there?’ and pointed to the sky.”
She continued, “He’s at the age where the belief that anything is possible is still very real to him.”
Source: ABC News