Daisy Ridley was moved by a letter the mother of a child with an incurable cancer wrote to Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.
At Letters Live in London this past weekend, celebrities gathered together to read some famous, as well as a few less well known, letters (via Wizards and Whatnot). Letters Live is an annual event created to raise money for charity, as well as promote the practice of written correspondence.
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Among the celebrities in attendance were Daisy Ridley, along with her Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-star, Oscar Isaac. They were there to listen and support the cause, not read; but Letters Live’s impact goes beyond the readers to the listeners. Daisy herself was most moved by a letter written to J.K. Rowling by Chrissy Hart, the mother of a young girl diagnosed with an incurable cancer. In the letter, Hart described how much Harry Potter helped her and her daughter through her difficult time.
Daisy was so inspired, she shared a portion of the letter on her Instagram account.
Read more of the letter below.
"“I want to share with you what you taught my daughter, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. When I read her your stories, she didn’t take to the clear distinction between good and evil, but instead loved the grey characters. You taught her that for every chemo she has to go through, there will be the opportunity to fly across a lake on a hippogriff. For every time her heart seizes with fear of pain, there will be me chasing it away with a patronus charm.”"
In closing, Hart wrote,
"“But the most important lesson you have taught us both: cancer may take her away from me in just a few short weeks. I might not be able to spare her the pain. But for every child that is taken too early, people will come together, huddling close in a big group, wands held high to light the dark sky with the love they felt.”"
Replace the word “wands” with “lightsabers,” and you have the love and faithfulness of the Star Wars community. The friendship and compassion within fandoms is truly astonishing; when I read stories like this about a franchise’s impact upon a child and her mother, I myself am surprised at how much of a positive force our fandoms can be. We share a common love, and therefore we understand one another. With understanding comes friendship and even the feeling that we’re all part of a big family. Whether it’s Harry Potter or Star Wars, a wand or a lightsaber, it can make a life brighter.
According to the organizers of Letters Live (via BBC), Chrissy Hart’s daughter died last month. We wish she will be one with the Force, and we raise our lightsabers alongside the wands in her honor.