A special person to the Star Wars fan community has passed away.
Leah Esquanazi, better known as Princess Leah, suffered from a mitochondrial disease that caused her to have breathing difficulties and a related disorder that caused blindness. Her parents are big Star Wars fans and are very involved in fandom. When word went out that Leah was ill, the fans rallied to get funds together several times through collections and auctions so that her parents could cover their extensive time away from work and, eventually, the high costs associated with her care.
Even though she struggled with many health problems, her parents tried to give her an active life full of adventures that they chronicled on their blog and Facebook page.
Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for any planned tributes.
A number of Star Wars artists and fans have pitched in their talents to help raise money to defray the health care costs of little Princess Leah Esquenazi. As we reported last year, when Leah was just two-months old, she came down with a mysterious illness that kept her mostly hospitalized, and the Star Wars fan community rallied to help her parents offset the costs of her medical bills. Now Leah is over a year old, and continues to require hospitalized ventilator support with the diagnosis of a mitochondrial illness. An ebay auction started on May 25th with over 100 unique and rare Star Wars art pieces and craft items to raise money for Leah’s care. Right now, there are items donated by Matt Busch, Randy Martinez, Amanda Howard, Michael Ramirez, and Joe Corroney.
My friend Lesley, of the 501st Legion’s Southern California Garrison, has been busy organizing the auction, and has a photo album of the donated art pieces. Follow the auction news on Facebook at facebook.com/ArtForLeah. After only 24 hours, there’s already over $1,000 in bids for items. A second group of auction items will going up for bid in a few days. You can also follow Leah and her family via their blog. Check out the auction and find a piece of your own to bid on!
With coverage on Today, little Princess Leah Esquenazi is getting a lot more attention than just from Star Wars fans.
What started as word of mouth with Star Wars fans through a Facebook page and other online presences like the 501st, Artoo-Katee and even Steve Sansweet, has turned into nearly $20,000, a fundraiser raffle and lots of guesses to try and help this little baby with the mysterious illness that is affecting her muscles and breathing.
Her family is keeping everyone updated through a blog and are trying to stay positive.
If you are so inclined to help the family with a donation, there is a donation function on the web page.