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Last sync:2023-08-29 00:45
John Green remembers Esther and the Make-A-Wish Foundation shares Darren's story.
Will: guys. Now we're gonna throw it to John and Hank Green on the balcony. Take it away, guys!

John: Hey- hey, I'm hear to talk about Esther Earl, a really important member of the Nerdfighter community  - our community. And the first thing I wanna say is that Esther's family has set up a foundation in her honor called the This Star Won't Go Out Foundation. Please check that out.

John: Esther was a really important Nerdfighter. She did a lot for our community and she loved the Project for Awesome and we are thinking about her today. Uh, Esther had cancer, and as she got sicker, it became more and more difficult for her to get around, to get out of the house, to have what um, people IRL might call a "normal" social life. But Esther found a fantastic and really sustaining group of friends on YouTube and in Nerdfighteria. She herself made wonderful videos. She was also a fan of many video blogs and a wonderful Nerdfighter.

John: And she had these great friends that she'd met online, but she was never able to meet them in real-life. The Make-a-Wish Foundation made that possible. They brought together Esther's closest friends from Nerdfighteria, and me. And we were all able to have two days together in Boston at a great hotel. And I hope that it was a great day for Esther. She died a couple of months later. We miss her desperately. (tearing up) I know that it was one of the best days of my life. (pauses) And I'm so grateful to the Make-a-Wish Foundation um, and most of all to Esther and to her family. Uh, and we're gonna watch a video about Make-a-Wish now, uh, and I'm gonna stop crying!

(Make-a-Wish Foundation video begins) (1:48)

Darren: My name is Darren, and I've made my wish to give back.

Make a wish.
Make a wish.
-has changed our life.
Make a wish changes lives. I've seen it.

Darren: So I had a non-Hodgkin Burkitt's lymphoma. It was January 21st when they finally diagnosed me.

Darren's Mom: I think for so many of us, we merrily go through life. Your children are healthy, your family is well. You go to football games, you go to swim meets and you have family picnics. But when illness strikes, you're opened up to a whole nother world.

Coach Dailey: Imagine myself as a parent. How would I feel? (pause) You know, how would he feel? How would his parents feel? You have a cancer inside your chest, it's the size of a two-liter bottle. What can we do?

Darren: Make-a-Wish came to my house and they had a paper that said wish to me, wish to go, wish to have, wish to be. And each one of those, I wrote down a little something that I- thought I could want. But it really didn't click to me, what I really wanted to wish for, until I got a- I guess it was a get-well poster from our football team that had- everybody signed it. And that just really touched me. And that's when I- that's when I got the idea.

Darren: My wish was to give brand new uniforms to our school football team.

Unknown voice: Nike, you know, came through and donated all these uniforms.

Darren: The school kinda went crazy. They were in shock, cheering and yelling when I showed the brand new jersey.

Lisa: The look and the expression on all the- everybody's faces was priceless.

Unknown voice: It just changed his life, I think.

Arturo: When we wear these jerseys, we are representing Darren now.

Darren: To leave a legacy such as I did, I mean- now that everybody knows that I've done- I know that my entire community is behind me. My team's behind me. It seems like we're all just one big, happy family now. (fades to black)