R2-KT - The Inspirational Android
So, today I was browsing the internet and happened across this story. I have literally been in tears reading about this and the impact it has had on so many lives.
This story begins with little Katie Johnson, the daughter of Albin Johnson, Albin is the founder of the 501st Legion, a Storm Trooper cosplay group that works to promote Star Wars interest, promote good costuming, and goes above and beyond with volunteering for fundraising and charity work. In November of 2004, Katie was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor.
Katie was very brave during her struggle with cancer, and her family did all they could to support her. One day, her father was inspired to create a pink Droid for Katie that would watch over her, With the help of the R2 Builders Club, the mission was under way.
When Katie’s struggles began to catch up to her, a member of the group, Andy Schwartz, had an idea. He wanted Katie to be able to enjoy her custom droid while she was still able, but the official R2-KT was not completed. He customized his own R2-D2 droid with the now signature R2-KT paintjob, and surprised the family with it. Katie was so excited, and it watched over her every night. (Pictured 1st in this photoset).
On August 9, 2005, Katie died peacefully in her sleep after her 9-month battle with cancer.
In June of 2006, R2-KT was officially finished, and the journey it would take officially began. Katie’s father, Albin, and the 501st Legion now visit conventions, hospitals, and other events all over to raise money and awareness for various charities.
The amount of love and detail put into this project is just amazing. Reading over the stories of inspiration, fan art, and photos of R2-KT was overwhelming. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what struck me the most, and there are so many things to take away from this story, but I know that I was touched. Knowing that a father embraced what he and his daughter loved to bring peace and love to others is inspiring. Seeing the outpouring of love and support from so many different people for this one man and one cause is just amazing.
You can read more about Katie on the webpage her father created here. You can also read more about R2-KT and her adventures on the R2-KT homepage. The middle photo of the photoset is one of many pieces of fan art made to commemorate Katie and R2-KT. This one was created by Katie Cook.