Fan Mail: A hero from a galaxy not so far away!Sunday, February 3, 2013
From: Barry W. Benecke II
“Dear Sideshow Collectibles,
This year is the 4th anniversary of my kidney donation.
On February 3rd, 2009 I donated a kidney to a man I met on an online Star Wars forum. At that time, I only knew him by his screen name, Tycho. Since our transplant surgery my recipient, Josh, has sent me three Sideshow Sixth Scale Star Wars collectibles, including Darth Vader, the Imperial Stormtrooper and 501st Clone Trooper for my birthday and Christmas.
I wanted to let you know that I love the amount of detail that are in these beautiful collectibles. I have them displayed proudly, and they are a wonderful addition to my Star Wars collection!
Barry W. Benecke II”
Here is Josh and Barry’s inspiring story, from SirStevesGuide.com:
Josh “Tycho” Weisleberg has been part of the SirStevesGuide.com community for well over a decade, starting not long after I launched the site. Josh was first known for his newsletters regarding the world of Star Wars comics and books (as well as a die-hard toy collector and diorama builder) until an inherited kidney disorder put him in a coma for months and his long term health took a sharp turn. So he put aside the newsletter to concentrate on dealing with his health, keeping active in the forums, and eventually even writing a book, while waiting on the donor list for a new kidney. It took the generosity of a fellow Star Wars fan, nearly 3 years, dialysis, and one disheartening false start, but as of February 3rd, 2009, his transplant was successful.
The donor (or should I say hero) in this is Barry “bobafrett” Benecke. Barry gave the greatest gift one can give: life. Barry, a father, Star Wars collector, and member of the 501st Legion with several costumes, had never met Josh in person before but they were both active in the Forum. The need for donor kidneys is enormous in this country, there is a kidney waiting list of 90,000 people which had greatly limited Josh’s chances, and when his health took a fast downturn in 2006, Barry felt compelled to help out a buddy in such dire need and offered to donate his own kidney, and it’s simply amazing that everything worked out. I know there had been ups and downs, Barry had to undergo test after test to ensure that he was a good match, take time off from work, his family feared that he might not survive the kidney donation surgery, plus there were several trips from Barry’s hometown of Chicago out to San Diego, all to help out a fellow Star Wars fan. Barry, you are truly a special person!
We’re honored to have such amazing fans. May the Force be with you both!