Madeline Potts writes:
In the midst of the craziness that is San Diego Comic-Con, I was given the chance to follow along Cianna Gomez, an 18-year-old Basal Cell Adenocarcinoma patient, during the completion of her Make-A-Wish. I caught up with her and her family (mother Shannon, father Ismael, and brothers Dominic, Mateo, and Antonio) as they were about to meet the Steven Universe cast.
As soon as I met up with the family, Cianna was already gushing about all the things she had done in San Diego so far. From meeting the cast of Daredevil to going to the zoo, Cianna couldn’t wait for what was going to come next: meeting the cast of Steven Universe.
I watched as Cianna was given a cheeseburger backpack by representatives from Cartoon Network, along with a left-handed drawing book from one of the artists, which she immediately began flipping through. As we made our way to the signing, Cianna joked with her little brother. He claimed that he’d never watched an episode of Steven Universe in his life, but she swears she’s seen him watching the show more than once.
Finally, the big moment came — Cianna made her way through the signing line and even stopped afterward to get a picture with the cast. As she made her way out of line, we watched as her little brothers (full of excitement) got their chance to talk with the cast. We laughed as even her littlest brother (the one who claimed to hate the show) looked ecstatic. Cianna held up her signed poster and talked about how incredible that moment was.
As we made our way from the signing, Cianna explained to me that when she was a kid being treated for cancer, she didn’t know what was happening to her. She did, however, know that these stories, these characters, became her coping mechanism. Watching Steven Universe or Doctor Who gave her a chance to step away from her reality for a while.
So next time you go to SDCC (or any other convention) and you’re thinking about cutting in line, consider what the life of the person behind you might be like. These characters are our escape from the everyday, and SDCC is a chance to momentarily join a fantasy world where anything (even converting an unwilling brother to Steven Universe) is possible.