Taken at Dragon Con 2014.
Welcome to Feelstown. Here's the story.
This is my favorite Dragoncon 2014 photo. The Make-a-Wish foundation made it possible for 10 year old Dawn, who has a life threatening illness, to meet Patrick Stewart backstage. He was about to speak to a packed room of 2000 people, but they sat down and he really focused on her; they talked for about 15 minutes. As things are winding down and she and her family are getting ready to go, Dawn unexpectedly throws him this huge hug, and you can see the happiness in both their faces. Bravo Sir Patrick!
As Dawn Garrigus met Patrick Stewart, I hung back as I really didn't want to interrupt their moment, and took a few shots from a distance. He was really gracious and focused on her, and I could tell he was making a huge difference to this little girl. So as things were wrapping up and everyone was getting ready to go, I had a sense that there might be more. Suddenly she ran back and threw this big hug around him and I could feel my eyes welling up, so I was somewhat lucky to get a few frames. It was a really genuine moment for both of them. At the time I remember thinking that I didn't quite get enough of his face, but in retrospect I think this shot shows their connection perfectly.
The Make-a-Wish coordinator for Dawn's wish has posted about the picture on Reddit:
Hi! I'm actually the wish coordinator who granted this wish and got to be there for their meeting! It was pretty spectacular and he couldn't have been any better. She was just the happiest kid and when she said she was honored to meet him, he said how honored he was to meet her. He even gave her a shout out in his panel and that girl had an ear to ear grin. ...
It was definitely a moment that reminds me why I love my job. If you're interested, donating to your local Make-a-Wish chapter is such a huge help. Just go to wish.org and find your local chapter. Also I love Patrick Stewart even more now than I thought possible!