Star Wars premiere a night to remember for fan with ALS - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Star Wars premiere a night to remember for fan with ALS

Star Wars premiere a family affair for fan with ALS (Source: WOIO) Star Wars premiere a family affair for fan with ALS (Source: WOIO)
Jim Metz gets treat of a lifetime with early screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Source: WOIO) Jim Metz gets treat of a lifetime with early screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Source: WOIO)
BRUNSWICK, OH (WOIO) -

Thursday night was all about Star Wars, and one Brunswick fan got a special treat.

He got to see an early screening of the mega popular movie, which included a limo ride to the theater.

42-year-old Jim Metz has been living with ALS for the past six years.

Love for Star Wars runs deep in the Metz family.

You can see it on the ornaments hanging on their Christmas tree, each a character from the movie series.

But this year, the decorations aren't at home. They're in Jim's hospice room.

Jim took a fall earlier this year and has been living at Willowood Care Center ever since.

When he was first diagnosed, his wife Rachelle says they feared they would lose him right away.

"Back then they told us he wouldn't live 18 to 36 months. It's been almost six-and-a-half years, he's doing really well," she said. 

It can be hard for Jim to remember things. But he hasn't forgotten how big of a Star Wars fan he is.

Rachelle and his daughters Mikayla and Ruthie are making family time together count.

"The dementia's really been a hard struggle for us, for someone at this age. Doctors don't understand it, people don't understand it," Rachelle Metz said.

These Star Wars fans had a night to remember Thursday.

"I just can't wait for tonight," Mikayla Metz said.

Hospice of Medina and The Greater Cleveland Film Commission arranged for a limo to pick up the Metz family and take them to an early screening of the latest movie.

"When you start getting down and think, 'how much more of this can I take?' Something like this happens," Rachelle Metz said.

"Since the beginning of the day I can't stop smiling because I'm so excited," Ruthie Metz said.

Watching movies is one thing the family can still do together.

Star Wars brought these high school sweethearts together 17 years ago, and now they'll cherish it even more.

"That's something we've really focused on the past several years, with his illness, it's just making memories. You're not guaranteed tomorrow," Rachelle Metz said.

The Metz family has become an advocate in the fight to find a cure for ALS.

They've even testified before Congress on Capitol Hill.

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