The Force Against Cancer


The Kott Family

Noelle Natividad, Staff Writer

He was three when he first felt it, stirring within his veins, moving through every fiber of his being. The ethereal force moving within Callan was the same energy to move through so many before him, bringing the little boy to his feet with sudden courage. It was in everything, surrounding him with power as it had encompassed Luke, Obi-wan, Leia… and Anakin.

In the words of Master Yoda, “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we.” Callan Kott was not the first boy to step into the boots of a Skywalker, but his battle was one for the Jedi lore. At three, the New Orleans native was diagnosed with blood and bone marrow cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It came as a bout of pneumonia at Thanksgiving, and continued until Christmas when Callan, the proclaimed life of the party, “looked pale and suddenly stopped singing karaoke at a Christmas party”.

Facing chemotherapy and being stuck with needles on a daily basis, the 3-year-old grew upset easily for the halting state he was now in. Just as the saga saved many others, the cast of the Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens brought a long-awaited smile back to Callan’s face, bringing the Force into a vital part of his childhood.

The two-minute trailer made even the hardest days bearable and suddenly, Star Wars Callan was born in Ochsner Medical Center. CNN reported, “Callan’s treatment was like a roller coaster: bouts of intense chemo followed by lighter weeks, inpatient one week and outpatient the next. The hardest part for the very social kid was not being able to be in school, play with his friends or be around other family members due to his depleted immune system.”

But even during the black holes and bright spots, “he would ‘train’ with his light saber in the hallway, wear the masks of his favorite Star Wars characters, sing the Imperial March and hold out his hands to ‘use the Force’ in fighting his cancer. He told other patients that they could use the Force to help their cancer, too.” Soon, shaving his head was transformed from its stigma to a sign of his Jedi training.

Callan Kott’s Force battle with cancer continues to be greater than even the most legendary of Jedi matches.

Photo courtesy of CNN.COM