The Story Behind This Photo of Patrick Stewart Granting a Make-a-Wish Is Incredibly Moving

by John Boone 3:55 PM PDT, September 10, 2014
Photo: James Barker Photography

If you’re in need of a good happy cry, Captain Jean Luc Picard will make it so.

While attending DragonCon this year, Patrick Stewart met one very special fan: 10-year-old Dawn Garrigus from Statesboro, GA. It wasn’t a chance encounter; Dawn wished it into being.

Dawn suffers from a life-threatening condition called Mitochondrial Disorder and her Make-a-Wish was to meet Sir Patrick. Thankfully for us, photographer James Barker was on hand or we wouldn’t have this truly touching photograph:

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“Patrick Stewart could have met her for just a couple minutes, and I’m sure she would have been thrilled,” Barker told ETonline. “Instead he sat down for about 15 minutes and really focused and talked to her.

“She looked so incredibly happy! I hung back and shot from a distance so as to give them some space while they were talking. As things were winding down, I had a sense that there might be more and suddenly she throws her arms around him, in this wonderful genuine ‘thank you.’ I felt my eyes welling up and was lucky to still be able to compose and shoot a few frames.”

And the Internet’s reaction to the picture has been moving too:

“Over the 4 days of DragonCon I shot about 5000 frames but only posted this one image,” he told us. “Their hug has gotten 1000+ shares and 3000+ likes on my Facebook page and many more on other pages. It’s wonderful that, instead of some crazy costume, the image that most resonates with people is this very genuine human moment.”

Watch another wonderful Make-a-Wish granter in action: Justin Bieber!