Force for Kylie: Star Wars helps young girl cope with organ transplants

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Members of the La 501st Star Wars Legion, many from the Natchitoches area, will help a young girl out in a big way. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Kylo Ren, Storm troopers and Scout troopers will be present at the “Force for Kylie” fundraiser event Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. at the TREE house children’s museum in Alexandria.

Kylie is currently in Omaha, Neb. receiving three organ transplants: liver, pancreas and small bowel. This transplant came after 6 years of waiting. She is only 10 and she will be in recovery for nearly a year. She is a huge Star Wars fan and is in need of the force!

Natchitoches members of the 501st Zack and Josh Dyess met Kylie in October. Zack did some “force training” with her (light saber fighting). They realized they wanted to do something to send some relief from the Empire.

Kylie’s story of perseverance has spread and the gofundme account set up in her name has collected over $15,000 of its $20,000 goal in 32 months.

Kylie’s mother, Joan Catherine Broussard‎ said, “Kylie’s journey forever changed our lives 10 years ago. I am so blessed the Lord picked me to be her mommy. My goal is for my baby to have healthy, happy lives. One day at a time, one step at a time.”

Kylie is from Alexandria, but Natchitoches 501st members are putting on the event after her sister reached out to them because she is such a big Star Wars fan. The TREE house children’s museum got together with the 501st with an idea to help raise money for her family’s medical and travel expenses.

For the ‘Force for Kylie’ event, the museum will be open for kids to meet some of their favorite characters from the Star Wars universe, and to give hope through the force to Kylie! There is a $10 all day admission to the museum and 100 percent will go to Kylie. The event includes a meet and greet with the premiere Lucasfilm Star Wars costuming group (the 501st Legion), activities, a craft and more.

“The 501st Legion strives to make a difference in the lives of children in need,” said Natchitoches member Eddie Harrington. “Of course, as members we are Star Wars freaks and we get to share that passion with kids like Kylie by visiting them in the hospital, being part of special days for them such as their last day of chemo treatment, or helping raise funds on their behalf. If even for only a minute we can take their minds off of their pain and struggles by meeting Darth Vader or any of their other favorite characters, then it was all worth it. We are bad guys just trying to do good!”

The 501st legion, known as Vader’s Fist, is a world wide organization with thousands of members and is the premiere Lucasfilm Star Wars costuming group.

Each costume goes through a rigorous process of inspection to ensure it is truly movie quality. Only then can a member join and begin doing charitable work as an official Star Wars character.

Anyone who knows of a kid in need who loves Star Wars can contact the 501st at: http://la501st.com/. For more information on the ‘Force for Kylie’ event contact or to make a donation email Eddie Harrington at Eddie.harrington@theharringtonlawfirm.com or call 225-362-9835.

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