Thursday, January 7, 2016

Operation: Strike Back IV

Hello there, troopers! If we have not been formally introduced, I am TK-66613 of the 501st Legion, Florida Garrison, Makaze Squad, First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment. In 2012 my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, startlingly less than a week before my wife presented me with a birthday gift that would change my life- funds to begin construction of my own Stormtrooper Armor and a chance to join the 501st, a Star Wars costuming club focusing on charitable action. This began my mission to help those with cancer and other afflictions, their families, and to fight back against this terrible disease through fundraising and volunteer efforts.

And what a ride it has been.

The Imperial Walkers, 2014

2016 was a hard year for trooping for me, with two full career changes and many other personal factors. While I spent less time in armor this year than any other since the formation of Troop For The Cure, my mind was never far from the mission. Everything from hospital visits, online fundraising, sending cards and Christmas gifts, to late night conversations with worried parents- It's amazing how much of Lord Vader's work can be done out of armor.

Hardcore trooping: not as sexy as it looks in the movies.
This past Year's efforts centered mostly around Sean Corona, a little boy I met at a Make a Wish Foundation troop at Give Kids The World Village. His parents were devastated to learn that his neuroblastoma had relapsed and he was now stage four. I, along with many other troopers, began the crusade of fundraising well over $4,000 (I only have my personal figures to work off of- it's probably much more) to help offset the cost of medical bills and missed work to take Sean to his treatments. Aside from this, many troopers (myself included) took the time to send messages, care packages, and make personal visits with Sean during the various stages of his treatment.

Troopers with Sean Corona at a sporting event.
While special interest cases like this, frequent  hospital troops, and events for special needs children have been some of the most rewarding parts of my journey in the 501st, I have secretly always had my sites set on a bigger goal. While I have cherished my time in armor, and the people it has brought into my life, personally and passionately  I long for a day when I can hang that white plastic suit up for good. When there are no more children to visit in the hospital. When there are no more medical bills to raise funds for. When there are no more unopened packages under Christmas trees.

In 2016 troopers mourned the loss of Evan Bublyk, who's life was cut short by neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumors in the body disrupting the nervous system. Currently there is no cure.

Such a sentiment has always lied at the core of my mission, and OPERATION: STRIKE BACK has always been my primary initiative since my very earliest days of trooping. In 2012 I founded my Relay For Life Team, The Imperial Walkers, and in the last three years we have raised over $10,000 for the American Cancer Society to aid in their most noble mission of eradicating this heinous disease once and for all. This year we will once again take to the feild, boots on the ground, to stand and fight for our loved ones.

As phase one of OPERATION: STRIKE BACK IV we once again are offering our "Crushing Cancer" tees as well as never before available patches. Please support us in our mission by placing your pre order on my webstore, The faster we meet our minimum requirements the faster we can go to print and get these items in your hands.

Additionally, you can help us by sharing this message with your family and friends, with your squads and garrisons, and harness the powers of social media to once again bring justice and order to the galaxy.

As always thank you for your continued support of the Troop for The Cure initiative.

In the war on suffering, we are the soldiers. The Weapon is Hope.
Never surrender.
Never retreat. 
Never tell me the odds.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Operation: Sean's troopers

**UPDATE** This post has been updated to show that we are now selling the Patches and Coin/Sticker combo from our webstore. Order Now!

It's been a while since I've posted up here, so let me start out by saying, GREETINGS! I am TK-66613 of the Florida garrison Makaze Squad, First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment. After my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2012 I made it my personal mission to do battle with cancer in all forms through my work with the 501st legion, an army of Star Wars fans who have dedicated themselves through good works and detailed costuming. Since that time I have raised thousands for cancer charities, attended countless fundraising events, made personal visits to sick and terminal children, and made a lot of amazing friends along they way!

I am writing today to tell the story of one of my favorite troops, a visit to the amazing Give Kids the World Village in Orlando, Florida, a 70-acre resort complete with over 144 Villa accommodations, entertainment attractions, whimsical venues, and fun specifically designed for children with special needs. We were called in for a special "Make a Wish" visit for Sean Corona, a young man who had used his love of all things Star Wars to help him through the trials of cancer treatment. Sean's family started a Facebook page for him called 'Sean's Troopers' to update family and friends about Sean's progress in treatment and allow people to show their support of Sean and his family.

Our visit with Sean was a special one, he was so excited to see all of us and knew each character by name. He led us around the village and  took us to see all of the other children. We brought Sean some cool Star Wars toys and had a really wonderful afternoon together. Sean made a very strange request of us nearing the end of the troop. When we had returned to our backstage area, Sean asked us if we would be willing to remove our helmets so he could see our faces. Normal 501st protocol is to never, EVER remove your helmet in the view of the public, but considering the nature of this "Make a Wish" event, we decided as a group that we would oblige him. Sean took the time to talk with each of us, about Star Wars, about the 501st, and to tell us how much he genuinely appreciated all of us being there that day. To say he made an impression on us is an understatement.

 After the visit our squad continued to follow his progress online and keep in touch with his family, sharing in his ups and downs and cheering him on along the way. Sadly this week it was brought to our attention that Sean's cancer has relapsed and progressed to stage 4, making him a high risk patient. Our troopers are rallying to his cause and have organised a fundraiser to help his parents with a second round of medical costs and are organizing a care package to send to Sean to keep his spirits up in this time of trouble.

Please help Sean take on this second battle with cancer by purchasing one of these "Sean's Troopers" patches, or a Coin/ decal combo pack. 100% of all proceeds will go to help Sean's Family. To pre-order these items, click the link here- order 



If you would like to make a direct donation to Sean's family without ordering a patch you can send it via Paypal to

I would also like to encourage any troopers reading this to stop by Sean's Facebook page and give him some words of encouragement. I know it will make his day better to know he has an Empire of support behind him.

Sean is a very special little boy to us, not because he loves Star Wars, but because his heart is so big. Sean is a real Trooper. He's one of us.

Please help us help him beat this.

Never tell me the odds

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Operation: Going Gold

If you have visited my page before, you might notice something looks a little different.

If you haven't visited my page before, then you should know that I am TK-66613 of the 501st Legion, Florida Garrison, Makaze Squad, First Imperial Storm Trooper Detachment. I started this blog when my father was diagnosed with multipul myeloma, and I undertook a crusade against cancer of all forms, as well as other diseases. In the time since that decision I have become a soldier in a different kind of war, one that is fought with fundraisers, hospital visits, laughs and smiles, lending a hand, and hope.

During one of the aforementioned hospital visits, which is a part of my service to the 501st legion, I was struck by the sheer number of cancer patients we saw. Then I started hearing the statistics.


-Every day, 42 children are diagnosed with cancer.
-12% of children diagnosed with cancer do not survive.
-Children's cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
-The average age of children diagnosed is six.
-More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
-60% of children who survive cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.

From St. Baldrick's Foundation:

"In the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease—more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease—more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined."

"All types of childhood cancer combined recieve less than 4% of U.S. federal funding for cancer research."

September is the month of the year dedicated to pediatric cancer awareness, which is usually signified by a yellow ribbon. So to show my solidarity to the kids and families affected by childhood cancer the Troop for the Cure page is going gold for the month of September. 

Pictured throughout this blog are the faces of children fighting this battle. These are kids who want nothing more than to lead normal, healthy lives. They are children that I have worked with on a one on one basis, raising funds to help with medical bills, sending care packages and encouraging letters, visiting in the hospital, or just giving a smile. These missions are close to me, and these children are close to my heart. When they hurt, I hurt. When they are sad, I am sad. 

But I am a soldier, and soldiers don't cry- they don't mope, they don't lose hope- not in front of the kids, not in front of the parents. Soldiers fight. And that is why, as much as these missions mean to me, as important as is is to smile, and laugh, and ease the burden, it is more important to strike back.

I have completed 2 consecutive years of Operation: Strike back which has raised a cumulative $7,000+ for the american cancer society with my Relay for Life team the Imperial Walkers. But the more I troop, and the more kids I meet, the more I know that this is not enough. These children deserve more than 4% of funding. They deserve better treatment than that which will cost them their quality of life. They deserve progressive, effective treatment for their illness and we are not giving it to them. 

This year I start a new tradition, of participating in the Cure Search walk for pediatric cancer. I am offering stickers for donations of $6 (including shipping worldwide) that bear the Troop for the Cure Helmet and a yellow ribbon. Normally the ribbon is red, symbolizing cancers of the blood, like my father's cancer-- but what started as a battle for my father has grown into an all out war.
Please help me in my fight against this terrible disease. I have 13 days from when this blog posts until my walk. Let's see how much we can raise in 13 days.

When these children soar, I soar. When these children win, we win.

In the war on suffering, we are the soldiers. The weapon is hope.
Never retreat.
Never Surrender.
Never tell me the odds.


Order Stickers here: Order Stickers

Friday, June 20, 2014

Operation: Evan's Experience


Final orders have been submitted for the "Cause Warrior" tee to benefit Evan Bublyk. Thanks for all of your support of this great cause!

If you would still like to make a donation to help Evan's dream come true visit Its4Evan or

The Force is a mysterious thing. It's actions are sometimes hard to notice, sometimes hard to understand- but in my experience always deliberate and always very well timed.

I had been mulling over a concept I felt very strongly about that came to the surface back when the reality show "heroes of cosplay" began on the Sci-fi channel. I never saw the show because, well, the death star doesn't have cable, but I experienced the backlash it received through social media for purportedly portraying costumers or "Cosplayers" as vain, selfish drama queens. Many pointed to the efforts of various costuming groups with charitable inclinations such as the various super hero themed organizations and the 501st as 'the real heroes of cosplay', which put me in an awkward position- was I a cosplayer?

Cosplay means many things to many different people (for what the wikipedia gods have to say about it, click here). To me, probably like many others, it was something that people who were really into anime did. It was a dedication not only to extreme fandom but also for retro, period, and futuristic fashion. It was a role play thing, where you could be someone else for a while and play in a fantasy realm. And in retrospect, maybe a lot of those ideas could be related to what I do. I love Star Wars, I love putting on a show for the kids (of all ages) and playing the part. To me those are fun side affects.

So I got to thinking about what about the word "Cosplay" bothered me. The term is, obvioulsy, short for "costumed play". It didn't take long for me to realize that that insinuation greatly offended me. Now for a silly explanation for that sentiment, which might give you an entertaining insight into just how much i have lost my mind. It'll be fun, I promise.

What follows is simply my opinion, and does not necessarily represent the views of the 501st legion, it's members or affiliates.

I don't dress up like a Stormtrooper. I am a Stormtrooper. the beauty of a 501st costume is, simply. I am not pretending to be anyone. When I have my helmet on I am still Adam DeLancett, disgruntled retail manager and patron of all things weird. When I am at work in my camo shorts and metal t-shirt, I am still TK-66613 of the 501st Legion, Florida Garrison, Makaze Squad, First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment. The two things are one in the same. Yeah I am a fan of Star Wars, but moreso, I am a fan of Scott Loxley, the man who walked around the Australian continent in Sandtrooper Armor to raise $150,000 for a children's hospital. I am a fan of the doctors, nurses and volunteers at Nemour's Children's hospital who not only help cure sick kids but make sure it's fun while they do it. I am a fan of Mayor Clayton, the giant Rabbit at give kids the world village who welcomes make-a-wish families to their temporary homes. I am a fan of each an every member of our organization that takes the time to make a smile, who puts in extra money to make a donation, who takes the initiative to make a difference. Every once in a while a kid at an event will say something along the lines of "you're not a real Stormtrooper!", and I will look them straight in the face and say, "Kid, these people here are the real Stormtroopers. Those guys in the movies are just actors playing Stormtroopers. Here we are, doing something, completing missions and making a difference. This is as real as it gets".

I have since accepted that what I do, what WE do as a legion will often be relegated to the world of cosplay. And you know what? That's ok. Cosplay has elevated into a real art form, where extremely talented artists, mechanics, and costumers master their craft and constantly raise the bar of excellence- and magically, simultaneously a growing community that preaches, practices, and praises acceptance, appreciation, and kindness is blossoming. Yes, there are divas, and bullies, and hecklers- there is in every crowd, but it's hard not to notice how much more positive the environment has become, and I think I am justified in feeling that organizations like the 501st have helped steer it in that direction.

But I still trip over that word- "Cosplayer". Yeah, I've got a costume. But more importantly, I've got a cause. And what I do may be fun but it's also a lot of work, and it's a bit demeaning to refer to it as play. Some call it volunteerism. Some call it charity. But it my mind it has always been one thing.

It's a war.

When you are a football fan and your team loses, your friends make jokes.

When you are a fisherman and you lose, you still sat in a boat all day with your friends.

When you are a one of us and you lose, a kid's last wish never happens. A program that desperately needs funding doesn't get it. A child dies. It's a tough hobby. The payoffs are huge, the experience is life changing, and the losses are absolutely devastating. Some may shy away from the aspects of what we do that may get uncomfortable or upsetting, but most rise to face the ugliest, saddest tragedies again and again- not with a gun, but with a joke, a smile, a wave, and a hug.

All of the sentiments I have described above were the inspiration for the new Troop for the Cure t-shirt design I put together just last night. "I am not a cosplayer- I am a cause warrior". And the universe answered me, in the moment when I had pulled it all together, and presented me with a new mission.

The message, forwarded to me by a friend of Evan's Parents:

"My son Evan has Neurofibromatosis Type 1. It's a neurological disorder that causes tumors to grow in the body. He has several large plexiform neurofibroma (tumors) in his pelvic region that are considered life threatening.
Before, Doctors would tell us he would live until he was 18, now we don't know if we have a year left with him. Evan doesn't know how very sick he is and we will not tell him. He deserves to be happy with thoughts of the future and his hopes to become a Doctor.
His health is failing more quickly than we expected. Recently, he was admitted into Hospice in order to get his pain under control and is still under their supervision at home.
We want Evan to experience all the things he wants to do in his life. This page is an effort to raise the money needed to send Evan to Rome to see the Colosseum, see the Grand Canyon, witness the Aurora Borealis and maybe see one more Maroon 5 concert.
Because of Evan's illness, his father must stay home with him and we survive off my modest income. His father and I are both in school full time working hard to provide Evan and his brother with the life they deserve. Unfortunately, we won't have the time to do that for Evan.
We hope that you can help us give Evan the best year of his life. I want him to leave us having experienced all the things he wanted to do."

And the war goes on.

Join me in helping Evan's parents reach their goal. As always 100% of all proceeds go to benefit Evan's family in their most noble of pursuits- to give their child a full life.

In the war against suffering, we are the soldiers. The Weapon is Hope.
Never tell me the odds.

Order your "Cause Warrior" shirts here-

Shirts are men's cut, 100% cotton and available sizes small to 3XL.
AT THIS TIME WE ARE TAKING PRE-ORDERS ONLY. Once enough orders have been placed we will go ahead with printing the run. Please be patient with us and feel free to pass our mission along, the lower production costs are and the more money we can donate to Evan's wish.

Standard shipping rate is for USA orders only.
Please do not select the "pickup" option unless you are in regular contact with TK-66613.
If you are interested in international shipping please contact me at , if you are part of an international 501st Garrison and would like to make a group order we may be able to offer a reduced shipping rate.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Operation: Show Support

For those who are new here, let me introduce myself- I am TK-66613 of the 501st Legion, Florida Garrison, Makaze Squad, First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment. I started this blog a little over a year ago when my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood cells, to document the mission I undertook upon his diagnosis to dedicate my life to the fight against cancer in all forms. In that year I have delved deep into the the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars costuming group dedicated to charitable causes and good deeds. I have participated in many fundraisers, events, and good will missions including bi-monthly hospital visits and one-on-one Make A Wish events.


This year has started off as a busy one, in which I had the privileged of finally meeting my Little Warrior Ethan Paredes, a little boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia on his fifth birthday and who has been my internet pen pal for just about a year. Members of my squad and I organized a special meet and greet with Ethan and his family, and also sponsored a trip to Lego Land for them. I also had the pleasure of heading up a relay for life team called the Imperial Walkers, who raised just over $4.000 for the American Cancer Society.

But the war goes on- and my next mission is very demonstrative to the heartless nature of this terrible disease, an enemy who knows no limits and gives no quarter. Meet Olivia Valentin, a 6 month old girl who has been diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. The costs of her treatment have already surpassed $11,000 and with months of treatment left to go it can only get more expensive from here.

The purpose of Operation: Show Support is to lend a hand to Olivia's family in what will no doubt be one of the most difficult times of their life. In order to do just that I have organized a patch run to benefit Olivia's family and help out with medical costs and simple living costs. Please join me in supporting this beautiful little girl in the fight of her life.

The yellow ribbon represents childhood cancer. The patch shows a Sandtrooper being provided air support from three soaring TIE fighters. The aurebesh script in the upper right reads "Operation Show Support". At this time patches are pre-order only, and will be shipped once the run is complete. The image above is a mock up, and the final product may vary slightly. 100% of all proceeds go to Olivia and her family.

You can purchase these patches from my webstore here.

Thank you for reading and for helping me in this mission.

In the war on suffering, we are the soldiers. The weapon is hope.
Never tell me the odds.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Operation: Force of Hope Part II

If you have been following the story so far, you know that back in August I began a crusade to save a young woman's life. Nadine Sfeir had been battling brain cancer and her could not afford the medical costs of her last resort, an experimental treatment only offered abroad and not covered by her health insurance. Nadine's battle ended on Thanksgiving this year. She passed at home in the arms of her family.

I knew when I took this mission on that it was a long shot. "Never tell me the odds" isn't just a cool thing Han Solo says- it's a promise I made that no matter how bleak things may look, or how impossible someones plight may seem, to support them, encourage them, and help them fight back. Everyone deserves a chance to fight, win or lose. Nadine needed our help, and we answered her call.

When Nadine died, it hurt. It hurt knowing I had failed. It hurt knowing that such a bright and promising person could be taken from us. But most of all, it hurt knowing that Nadine's family would spend this Christmas in mourning. Many times this holiday, my mind drifted from what I was doing to the thoughts of Nadine's family, and especially to her Fiance. I am engaged to be married this coming January, and the thought of losing my wife-to-be during the holidays was too horrible to imagine.

 I never met Nadine. All I know about her I learned through a few fundraising websites, her twitter account, and her obituary. I never heard her voice or saw her face, but there is one thing I have taken away from the words of her loved ones:

Nadine believed in helping people.

I saw it only fit to use the left over money from Nadine's fundraiser to help someone sharing her battle. That person was a little boy named Dom. Dom has spent the last 2 years of his life battling brain cancer, and has decided to take his experience and turn it around by helping other people in need and making other children's days brighter. Dom and his family organised a toy drive for the kids he meets at his monthly treatments and sponsored 14 families this past holiday with  gifts he collected. Dom is an amazing kid with a great family who understands something that I have always believed, that giving back is part of the healing process.

Many of my amazing friends and fellow members of the Makaze Squad put together a care package for Dom and his siblings, including toys, video games, and Subway gift cards (where Dom likes to eat after chemo). Along with this package Dom's family received a giant check from Darth Vader in the amount of $1,000 to help with Dom's treatment and projects. The members of the Black Ice Squad in the Wisconsin Garrison of the 501st made the day extra special by adding their own gifts and suiting up for a very special visit to Dom's family to deliver the package. I think these photos say it all. A huge thanks to all the troopers involved, especially Briana Petersen, and to Maci Lynn Bates who set me up with Dom through her amazing 'Little Warriors' program. It was a mad flurry of emails, shipping, and snowstorms, but in the end it turned out great.

In the end, I am still sad about losing Nadine's battle. I hope that in some way it may comfort her family to know that we fought for her, and that we paid tribute to her in a beautiful way.
 I will never forget her fight.
 But the war goes on.
 I may not win this war in my lifetime, but with kids like Dom are out there, I know someone will.

"Never Tell Me the Odds"

Check out Dom's page:

And Little Warriors:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Operation: Force of Hope- Mission Complete

Four months ago I began a crusade to raise funds to help save a young woman's life.

On the evening of November 26th that mission ended, as Nadine Sfeir died in the embrace of her loved ones. She was home for the Holidays. My deepest condolences go out to her friends and family, for their great loss.

I didn't know, right away. I work in retail and the holidays are a busy time for me, and though some people close to me were aware of Nadine's passing it was kept from me, for fear that it would compromise my mental state on what was to be a twenty hour work day, and the busiest day of the year (Thanksgiving into black Friday). It was a well-meaning decision, that unfortunately made it impossible for me to attend the funeral the following Saturday to pay my respects to the girl who I never met, but fought hard to save.

It wasn't until earlier today that I happened across her fundraising page and discovered she had passed.

I knew, of course, when I started this that it was a long shot. That Nadine was in very dire straits, that the costs of her treatment were very very high, that the procedures were experimental. But to be human is to dream, and my dream was that through the kindness of many Nadine could be saved. That her family could rejoice in her recovery, that science and ingenuity would succeed in time to save her life.

I dared to hope that Nadine would live. Knowing what I know now, I would have done it all over again.
Because no one is in this fight alone.

I would like to take the time to thank Everyone who donated to the cause and purchased patches to help Nadine finish the fight. Altogether nearly $2,000 were raised in our fundraiser alone, $1,000 of which had already been posted to Nadine's fundraiser page (I learned of her passing bacause we were nearing the $2,000 mark and I was preparing to post the next $1,000 deposit). Nadine's total fundraiser raised over $55,000 which I have been told will be put toward outstanding medical bills and then the remainder donated to to the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research in memory of Nadine.

Thank you to all the troopers and civilians who donated to help Nadine. I salute you.

Ashley Sandland
Whitney Hayes
Savoie Troy
Joel Ruprecht
Leighton Tomkins
Yutaka Tanaka
Takefumi Tenshima
Inao Yoshida
Valter Santos
Oliver Diez
Milt nation
Linda Crispien
Edwin Palmero
Dan Kohnke
Wade Gadsby
Gaby Navarro
Dennis Evander,
Maxim Fris
Hideki Shima
Andy Wolf
Gary Collins Sr.
James Cembrook
Kristy Anderson
Roberto Vilchis Portillo
Jeroen Joosten
Steven Garcia
Jason Neurath
Patric Bebie
Yutaka Tanaka
Paul Barnett
M. Ozeroglu
Bernhard Sihler
Tim Cubis
Eric Hartman
Stacey Kiefer
Michael Knowles
Diana Yareli Guerrero cruz
Ted Rivera
Julian Kong
Brenda Shields
Jake Baker
Toni Ali 
Steve Page
Charles Judd
Keven Marion
Adam Goetz
Stephan Petry
Christian Lorkowski
Göverim Osman
Harrison Faigen
Sam Parkin
Ross Moneypenny
Brian Ganninger
Sebastian Koch
John Ferarra
Colin Wells
Sean Mazurek

My Holiday will be a little darker this Christmas, knowing that Nadine's family will be mourning their immense loss. I will take the time at some point, to visit her grave and pay my respects to the girl that fought so hard and bravely.

If you know me, you know I already have a plan for the remaining $1,000. The fundraiser will continue, as previously stated, through the 21st of December, and the remaining funds will be diverted to an as yet unannounced project of a similar nature.

The battle is lost, but the war goes on.

Never tell me the odds.