BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – A boy in Bloomington, Indiana who suffers from a rare and deadly disease is getting his big wish of going to Disney and he met his favorite Star Wars character over the weekend.
Two weeks ago WISH-TV introduced the community to 6-year-old Hunner Goldman and his struggle with Juvenile Huntington’s disease. He wanted to go to Disney World and to the beach dressed like Darth Vader. Due to Hunner’s disease, he needs to go on this trip quickly, so donations poured in.
The family will take the dream vacation in July. However, the even bigger surprise was when a boy from Lawrence decided to donate his custom-made Darth Vader costume to Hunner over the weekend.
“I saw Darth Vader!” said Hunner. “I was excited! ‘You were excited?’ I almost cried.”
Hunner was surprised with a visit from Darth Vader and his Star Wars friends at McCormick’s Creek while he was camping on Saturday in Spencer, Indiana. Another boy, Vincent Brooks – aka “Lil Lord Vader” saw Hunner’s story and wanted to donate his treasured Darth Vader costume to Hunner.
Brooks’ family asked the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization, to help give the gift to Hunner over the weekend.
Hunner was stunned and speechless during the surprise, but said afterwards that he was “excited times 45.”
Hunner suffers from Juvenile Huntington’s disease. It is a progressive disorder that breaks down the cells in the brain, causing loss of mobility and intellectual capacity. The symptoms are often described as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s simultaneously. Sadly, there’s no cure.
Hunner is losing function quickly. Therefore, memories like this and his dream of walking on the beach and going to Disney World are important and time-sensitive. Since the pandemic stopped travel with the Make a Wish Foundation, the community’s outpouring of support has meant the world to this family.
“I was pretty speechless,” said Hunner’s mom, Ashley Goldman. “I was excited. Everyone who donated their time to be there for Hunner and the outcome for it was amazing. And I can’t thank everyone enough for what they have done and especially, they call him the Little Lord Vader. For him to donate his outfit like it just made me cry. It made my whole entire family cry and it was pretty nice.”
The Goldman family said that another boy in Hunner’s class is having a garage sale and plans to give all the profits to help hunner. True acts of kindness making a difference in Hunner’s life.