>It’s not every day that you see a bounty hunter hanging out with kids. Today some of the characters that will appear in the 22nd annual Capital One Bank Adolphus Parade visited the hospital to bring cheer to the kids who won’t have a chance to be there tomorrow.
One patient in particular stood out to me. Kristin Alcarez, the tiniest patient there, was standing in awe, blowing kisses to all the characters who passed by. The 19-month-old is waiting for a new liver so today’s visit was a welcome distraction for Kristin and her mom, Brenda Maciel.
Kristin is just one of the patients that Levi Larkin, a Star Wars bounty hunter, visited today. Since Larkin’s first visit to Children’s a couple of years ago, he has been on a mission to put smiles on patient’s faces.
Read more about Larkin’s experience in his words:
Some may find it strange when they ask me what my hobby is. I’m a Stormtrooper. When I was a young boy, I wanted to be a stormtrooper or a Jedi. I used anything I could find in the house to use as my light saber. Lucus brought so many adventures to my home with his creative story of intergalactic drama. As the years went on, I still found joy in collecting and following Star Wars. But my greatest joy came the day I completed my stormtrooper armor, and joined the 501st Star Garrison. Little did I know my second event would change the way I looked at my dream. My second “tour of duty” as TK-9950 was to visit Children’s the day before the parade. I was joined by two fellow troopers and a little droid name R2-D2. That day I was blessed with meeting some of the greatest people I would ever know. These children smiled and hugged us. To see these kids so happy in the face of such adversity shattered that selfish part of me that joined the 501st for me, and reforged it to a new mission.
The next day I participated in the Children’s parade. I marched the streets in the cold with my other brothers and sisters. I returned in 2008 to visit the hospital and march in the parade. That year we captured one of my favorite photos. The very embodiment of what we do. A picture of Darth Vader, evil Lord of the Sith, being led down the hallway by the hand of a little boy.
Tomorrow I will be marching again with my heroes – the little boy and girl warriors who battle every day for the next, and survive. And I am proud to stand by them.