Kevin Doyle completed a 645 mile marathon that ran from Petaluma to San Diego, in honor of his wife Eileen who died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. What made this marathon different than others was that he had done it in Stormtrooper armor.
The marathon started on June 6th at the Rancho Obi-Wan, a “Star Wars” museum and ended at the San Diego Comic Convention.
Kevin and Eileen shared a love of Star Wars and were members of the 501st. As a couple, they loved parading in matching stormtrooper armor and at their wedding in 2010 they even had R2D2 as the ringbearer.
After just two years of marriage he lost Eileen to pancreatic cancer and has been struggling to honor her memory since then. He decided that one way to honor her was to visit the Rancho Obi-Wan Star Wars museum in Petaluma, CA. He had then decided while he was in California he would also attend the SDCC. When he Googled the distance between San Francisco and San Diego, the result was 501 miles, which to him was a sign as they had both been members of the 501st legion.
As part of his tribute to his wife’s memory he also created a charity he called Eileen’s Little Angels that donated blankets, bandannas, coloring books and plush toys featuring his wife’s artwork to children battling cancer.
“I get people that come up to me who are fighting cancer or are cancer survivors, people and their families and they just want to talk to me and thank me for raising awareness,” Doyle said, “It’s just been one amazing experience.”
“For me, I haven’t had my head around it just quite yet. For me, it’s just me walking to honor my wife, but then people are gathering and making it really special. And they’re making it personal for them, which I hadn’t accounted for that, that people would receive me in that way,” he said.
Thanks to generous donations by Rancho Obi-Wan and the 501st, Kevin got to enjoy the San Diego Comic Convention.