Star Wars characters invade Gundersen Health System

Will Nordeen, 4-year-old chemo patient, receives surprise visit

Kids at Gundersen Health System got to see some of their favorite Jedi, Sith, and rebels Sunday.

The characters of Star Wars invaded the Pediatrics Department Sunday afternoon.

They visited Will Nordeen, a four-year-old chemotherapy patient, and brought some gifts for him and his brother.

“To just be able to play was wonderful, but to be able to have something like this where magic happens, where those action figures you’ve played with your whole life are real and they want to play with you, is absolutely wonderful and there is nothing like the twinkle in a kid’s eyes when that magic happens,” said Briana Petersen, of the 501st Legion.

The 501st Legion has visited thousands of families since its creation in 1997. Their mission is to spread the Star Wars fandom and to give back to the community through volunteering.

“It’s fantastic just to forget about what you’re doing for a while and have an experience like this, knowing that these people came out of their way to do something special for Will,” said Derek Nordeen.

Will was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma and is currently in remission.

He turns five this coming Saturday.