Saturday, 13 October 2012

1st Trench Run. Zachary Klassen!

In my home town there is a boy named Zachary Klassen who is a huge Star Wars fan and unfortunately suffers from a very rare form of Hypoparathyroidism. So rare in fact he is the only known person on the planet that suffers from this disease. The disease does not have a name right now and sadly will probably be named after Zach one day. In medical terms Zach diagnosis is this: "Nucleotide Substitution in Exon-7 of the casr receptor gene". In the simplest terms Zach's body does not produce Para Thyroid Hormone which controls how his body properly distributes calcium. He has suffered with numerous Kidney stones. With treatment his Kidney stones have been drastically reduced but the calcification of his kidney that has taken place can not be reversed. Zach also has severe calcium deposits in his brain which has led to some developmental disabilities. Zach has had this disease since birth, but was only diagnosed at the age of 7.  (Zach is 10 now)  Before that, he had a life of constant hospital stays and misdiagnosis! Because Zach is the only person known to suffer from this disease, doctors want to study him to further the research in the area of Hypoparathyroidism. Currently the $80,000 dollars per year treatment and prescription bills are being covered by the US government. But because of the economic downturn that everyone is suffering from, the government is looking to cut funding of PTH 1-34 (Zach's medicine) in the 2013 budget. Being that there are only 7 children taking this drug and Zach is Canadian, he is at the top of the list to have his funding cut. Currently the Klassen family is fighting to have the Canadian government help out, but they are reluctant because the treatment happens at the National Institute of Health in Maryland where Zach and his mother Tanis have to travel every 6 months. Tanis' flight expense is not covered by the government.

You can read more about Zach's story here:

So what can I do? I'm just a guy who likes Star Wars with an Instagram account. (@vintagestarwars)  Seeing my Instagram followers grow to almost 3000 over the last 1.5 years and seeing how buzz can be generated quickly through Instagram contests, I've come up with an idea. Simply put I would like to host a series contests and auctions with some amazing prizes, have a dollar amount associated with each entry into said contest or auction,  with all money raised going to Zach and his family. Star Wars fans are very passionate, and I believe if we all work together, we can make a difference. After all, isn't that essentially the story of Star Wars? A small band of rebels seemingly doing the impossible and blowing up the Death Star. A small group can make big difference!!!

I am going to host a series of contests through Instagram and a series of auctions on eBay.  I invite the entire Star Wars world to join me in accomplishing these three things:

I want Zach's story to be told. Every improvement in his medical treatment and quality of life has come about because someone new heard his story and could contribute.

• I want to raise money for Zach and his family to help with their costs.

• I want Zach to know that he has a family in the Star Wars community and we are willing to fight to help "blow up his Death Star"!

I have the fortune to live in the same town as Official Star Wars artist Robert Bailey:   I spent an evening in Mr. Bailey's studio telling him this very story and I asked him if he could donate a print or drawing to help with this cause. I was blown away by Mr. Bailey's generosity!!! Robert Bailey has donated $2400 dollars worth of prints and drawings to help out our local, mutual Star Wars buddy Zach.

I have also been in contact with Official Star Wars artist Robert Hendrickson: and Mr Hendrickson has also graciously agreed to donate prints to this cause!

I have also been in communication with FANBOYS director Kyle Newman: who has agreed to donate some signed copies of Fanboys on BluRay and DVD.  Mr. Newman will be autographing these copies as well as his wife, actress Jamie King!

Please follow me on Instagram (@vintagestarwars), Twitter (@igvintagestarwars), and here on this blog for all contest details.

If you would like to help out in any way please contact me at:

Together we are going to do something special!!!

Jason Clark

1 comment:

  1. I'm so touched to see someone actually DOING something to help another person out of the kindness of their heart and mutual love for a great story series. The world could use more people like you, and I wish I myself was more like you. God bless you... And of course; may the force be with you... Always.