Prepare your feels because you’re about to get force choked right in them.
When Kevin Doyle’s wife Eileen passed away in November of 2012 from pancreatic cancer, he knew exactly how he planned to honor the self-proclaimed geek to this dork: he would walk the approximate 645-mile journey from the “Star Wars” museum Rancho Obi-Wan all the way to San Diego Comic-Con… in full Stormtrooper armor.
“Doing the walk down the West Coast in armor was really the only choice I had,” Doyle told The Coast News in an interview.
Doyle began his journey on June 6 and walked anywhere from 20 miles a day to 45 miles a day, pushing along a dog-jogger stocked with a cot, a chair, a tarp, extra clothes and a few other provisions. Along the way, the former photojournalist and current sketch card artist has met joggers and cyclists and, as his story has grown, supporters.
“I get people that come up to me who are fighting cancer or are cancer survivors, people and their families and they just want to talk to me and thank me for raising awareness,” Doyle said. “For me, I haven’t had my head around it just quite yet. For me, it’s just me walking to honor my wife, but then people are gathering and making it really special. And they’re making it personal for them, which I hadn’t accounted for that — that people would receive me in that way.”
However, the walk isn’t the only thing Doyle does in memory and support of his wife. He also created the charity Eileen’s Little Angels and donates blankets, bandanas, coloring books and plush toys featuring his wife’s artwork to children battling cancer.
Doyle plans on arriving in San Diego on July 9 and has a weekend pass donated by Rancho Obi-Wan President and CEO Steve Sansweet and a four-day hotel stay provided by money raised by a GoFundMe page created by the 501st Legion, an all-volunteer organization for costume enthusiasts.
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