Dawn Garrigus Gets a Hug from Sir Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation request of Dawn Garrigus, an 11-year-old Star Trek fan from Statesboro, Georgia, was to attend DragonCon, an annual sci-fi and fantasy convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Dawn lives with mitochondria disease, which Andrea Romano, a writer for Mashable, describes as “a progressive illness that causes loss of muscle coordination, weakness and pain, seizures, vision and/or hearing loss, gastrointestinal issues, learning disabilities and organ failure.” On 1 September 2014, she attended DragonCon, as did Sir Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The two met, and Sir Patrick gave Dawn a hug. In an email to Mashable, Dawn wrote, “I was shy at first not sure what to say or talk about but he kept talking to me. I felt like I was on the enterprise talking to the Capt …. It makes me happy even when I am sick so I just wave and call ‘Hello, Sir Patrick.’” Dawn’s mother, Kristy Garrigus, said that she thought Dawn’s meeting with Sir Patrick had positive results: “She does not feel as isolated and to be blunt, it was the happiest we had seen her in quite some time…. Her brief visit with Sir Patrick has alleviated that feeling [of isolation] which we cannot begin to express gratitude for.”

Source: Andrea Romano, “An Ill ‘Star Trek’ Fan Wanted to Meet Patrick Stewart, and He Made It So.” Mashable. 12 September 2014


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