In Stony Plain there is a boy named Zachary Klassen who is a huge Star Wars fan and unfortunately suffers from a very rare form of Hypoparathyroidism. So rare in fact he is the only known person on the planet that suffers from this disease. The disease does not have a name right now and sadly will probably be named after Zach one day
In medical terms Zach diagnosis is this: "Nucleotide Substitution in Exon-7 of the casr receptor gene". In the simplest terms Zach's body does not produce Para Thyroid Hormone which controls how his body properly distributes calcium. He has suffered with numerous Kidney stones. With treatment his Kidney stones have been drastically reduced but the calcification of his kidney that has taken place can not be reversed. Zach also has severe calcium deposits in his brain which has led to some developmental disabilities. Zach has had this disease since birth, but was only diagnosed at the age of 7. (Zach is 10 now) Before that, he had a life of constant hospital stays and misdiagnosis!
Because Zach is the only person known to suffer from this disease, doctors want to study him to further the research in the area of Hypoparathyroidism. Currently the $80,000 dollars per year treatment and prescription bills are being covered by the US government. But because of the economic downturn that everyone is suffering from, the US government cut funding of PTH 1-34 (Zach's medicine) in the 2013 budget. Being that there are only 7 children taking this drug and Zach is Canadian, he is at the top of the list to have his funding cut. Currently the Klassen family is fighting to have the Canadian government help out, but they are reluctant because the treatment happens at the National Institute of Health in Maryland where Zach and his mother Tanis have to travel every 6 months. Tanis' flight expense was not covered by the government.
You can read more about Zach's story here:
So what did I do? I'm just a guy who likes Star Wars with an Instagram account. (@vintagestarwars) Using my Instagram account to help spread the word, I started to host a series of auctions with a Star Wars theme, with all money raised going to Zach and his family. Star Wars fans are very passionate, and I believe if we all work together, we can make a difference. After all, isn't that essentially the story of Star Wars? A small band of rebels seemingly doing the impossible and blowing up the Death Star. A small group can make big difference!!!
I am hosting a series of auctions on eBay. I invite the entire Star Wars world to join me in accomplishing these three things:
• I want Zach's story to be told. Every improvement in his medical treatment and quality of life has come about because someone new heard his story and could contribute.
• I want to raise money for Zach and his family to help with their costs.
• I want Zach to know that he has a family in the Star Wars community and we are willing to fight to help "blow up his Death Star"!
I have the fortune to live in Spruce Grove, the same town as Official Star Wars artist Robert Bailey: http://www.baileyprints.com/ I spent an evening in Mr. Bailey's studio telling him this very story and I asked him if he could donate a print or drawing to help with this cause. I was blown away by Mr. Bailey's generosity!!! Robert Bailey has donated $2400 dollars worth of prints and drawings to help out our local, mutual Star Wars buddy Zach.
I had the opportunity to meet with author of the Official Star Wars book "The Force in the Flesh", Edmonton's own, Shane Turgeon: http://www.shadesofgreytattoo.com/ Mr Turgeon has donated two autographed copies of his book, and several other item.
I have also been in contact with Official Star Wars artist Robert Hendrickson: http://www.roberthendrickson.net Mr Hendrickson has also graciously donated several amazing Star Wars prints to this cause!
I have also been in communication with FANBOYS director Kyle Newman: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1381100/who has donated signed copies of Fanboys on BluRay and DVD. Mr. Newman will be autographing these copies as well as his wife, actress Jamie King! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0454809/
There are many amazing people I have met on Instagram, that have made financial donations, item donations for auction, and have donated some really fun Star Wars items directly to Zach! We continue to have more and more things happen, and there is some exciting news on the horizon!:)
I have set up a blog to easily view all that is currently happening with the auctions: http://trenchrunrebels.blogspot.ca
You can also follow me on Instagram (@vintagestarwars) and Twitter (@igvintagestarwars).
If you would like to help out in any way please contact me at: email@example.com
As of now, we have raised about $2800 dollars to help with Zach's medical expenses, but I don't want to stop there. I would like to raise at least a years worth of funding for the Klassen family. ($80,000)
Together we can do amazing things!!!