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Northern Ireland teen cancer survivor's 'dream comes true' with emotional meeting with Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker

'Mark Hamill was everything I ever imagined him to be and then some' as actor is reduced to tears during meeting with teen

By Claire Williamson

Published 16/05/2016

Jamie meets Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Donegal.
Jamie meets Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Donegal.
Jamie meets Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Donegal.
Jamie meets Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Donegal.
Jamie meets Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in Donegal.

They say never meet your heroes - but that couldn't be further from the truth for one brave cancer survivor teen from Northern Ireland who had breakfast with Luke Skywalker.

Jamie Harkin (17) from Londonderry was diagnosed in June 2011 with Hodgkins Lmphoma cancer and suffered a relapse in January 2013.

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars cast members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning. They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars cast members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning. They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Rian Johnson (director ) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Rian Johnson (director ) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Rian Johnson (director ) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Rian Johnson (director ) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/5/2016 Daisy Ridley (Rey) pictured as Star Wars Cast Members arrive at Belfast International Airport on Friday Morning , They are due to film Star Wars Episode VIII at Malin Head in Co Donegal. The entire shoot is very much top secret, with locals and landowners sworn to keep it that way, and access to the beauty spot is closed for the next three days. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Having beaten the disease twice in five years, the 17-year-old has been seriously ill since January this year.

A Star Wars fan since he was three, the teenager dreamed of one day meeting his galactic heroes.

And he got the surprise of his life on Monday morning as Luke Skywalker himself joined him for breakfast at the Redcastle hotel in Donegal.

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity after Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver aka Luke Skywalker, Rey and Kylo Ren - instead of being in a galaxy far, far away were in Donegal to film the latest installment in the science-fiction epic.

The iconic Millennium Falcon also docked not far from Jamie's home at Malin Head in Co Donegal.

The determined teen runs Jamie's Journie, a community to help those in the north west suffering from cancer, raising over £15,000.

He has set up experiences for many young people - but with his heroes so close by filming Star Wars Episode VIII in Donegal - Jamie's mum thought it was time something was done for him.

Mum Patricia launched an online appeal to get the actor's attention using the hashtag #StarWarsForJJ on social media.

And on Saturday she got the call she had been waiting on, the meeting was going to happen but she was now faced with the task of keeping it a secret all weekend.

Read more:

Pictured: Star Wars cast arrive in Northern Ireland ahead of episode eight filming - Luke Skywalker, Rey and Kylo Ren arrive at Belfast International  

Star Wars in Malin Head: Donegal caravan park owner braces for battle as Millennium Falcon docks on his doorstep

Jamie had no idea what was happening as he thought he was going to the hotel for breakfast with one of the youngest members of Jamie's Journie, Ciaran Murphy (1) who was home from hospital for the weekend.

As they were all sitting discussing Star Wars - Jamie got the shock of his life as Mark Hamill walked in.

Posting on his social media page afterwards Jamie said he couldn't believe it had happened and told of the emotional meeting with both him and the Hollywood actor being reduced to tears.

'COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED'

He said: "I'm speechless.

The model of the Millennium Falcon being built on the Star Wars set at Malin Head in Co Donegal
The model of the Millennium Falcon being built on the Star Wars set at Malin Head in Co Donegal
A Millennium, Falcom in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
A set is created in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
The view of the Star Wars film set from Ardmalin Caravan Park. Pic: Ardmalin Caravan Park
A fleet brought the Star Wars set to Malin Head. Pic: Ardmalin Caravan Park
The view from Ardmalin Caravan Camp. Pic: Ardmalin Caravan Park
The view from Ardmalin Caravan Park. Pic: Ardmalin Caravan Park
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Farrens Bar in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
A Millennium, Falcom in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
JJ McGettigan from the Emerald Garrison, a star Wars costuming club, in Farrens Bar in Malin Head, Co Donegal Ireland, as filming for the next Star Wars movie will take place there. PA
Hazy Zoom - wires and cabling snake through the terrain from base to the Millennium Falcon. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction on the millennium falcon which is perched on rocks on the rugged landscape at Ireland's most northerly point - Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey.
Construction on the millennium falcon which is perched on rocks on the rugged landscape at Ireland's most northerly point - Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey.
Construction on the millennium falcon which is perched on rocks on the rugged landscape at Ireland's most northerly point - Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey.
Construction on the millennium falcon which is perched on rocks on the rugged landscape at Ireland's most northerly point - Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey.
Construction on the millennium falcon which is perched on rocks on the rugged landscape at Ireland's most northerly point - Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey.
Construction on the millennium falcon which is perched on rocks on the rugged landscape at Ireland's most northerly point - Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey.
The stunning landscape surrounding the Star Wars set in Malin Head. Pic James Whorriskey
Remote - Malin Head, Ireland's most Northerly point and location for the latest Star Wars movie. Picture James Whorriskey
A mixture of tourists and inquisitive Star Wars fans mingle - Pic at Bamba's Crown, which overlooks the cast and crew tents. Picture James Whorriskey
Cast and crew areas being readied ahead of weekend filming - roads in the area will be closed for several days. Picture James Whorriskey
Cast and crew areas being readied ahead of weekend filming - roads in the area will be closed for several days.Picture James Whorriskey
Cliff path to the Millennium Falcon - private security staff prevent people from getting too close. Picture James Whorriskey
Millennium Falcon Base - scaffolding, fencing and crew buildings surrounding the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Gardai on standby and ready to politely ward of anybody who security deem to have gotten too close for comfort. Picture James Whorriskey
Concealed - A drone hovers to the left of picture, over the Millennium Falcon location - and what's that partially visible on the right? Picture James Whorriskey
Tight security guards the boundaries of the Star Wars set. Picture James Whorriskey
Millennium Falcon base at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Crews at the Millennium Falcon site. Picture James Whorriskey
Security try to prevent photography at the location. Picture James Whorriskey
Narrow single track roads are the only way around Malin Head - In the distance the Millennium falcon site. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Private Security posted at public vantage points in Malin Head attempt to prevent photography. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
New signs erected in many of the surrounding fields - Millennium Falcon in the distance. Picture James Whorriskey
Construction underway on the Millennium Falcon at Malin Head. Picture James Whorriskey
Basecamp at the Millennium Falcon site. Pic James Whorriskey
The landscape overlooking the Millennium Falcon base. Picture James Whorriskey.

"Even now there's a wealth of emotions running through me, I'm definitely still in shock, I'm absolutely elated, incredibly humbled, honoured and just completely overwhelmed."

He continues: "I finally met my idol today. I had breakfast with Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill himself. People say that you should never meet your idols, because you build them up in your head so much that when you do meet them, they are a let down, and to that, I say, you're wrong."

"Mark was everything I ever imagined him to be and then some."

"As he walked in completely out of the blue Jamie stood up to shake his hand, but the Hollywood star told him "you don't need to stand up for me".

'EVERYBODY WAS IN TEARS'

Mark then shared with Jamie some words of inspiration which he said reduced them both to tears.

Jamie said: "He chatted to everyone for a while, before turning to me, and he told me something that I really needed to hear after the last few weeks and months that I've had. I promised myself that I wouldn't cry, but I just couldn't help it, and then Mark hugged me and as he was sitting down, I saw that he was crying too.

"Seeing him like that, in normal clothes as opposed to Jedi robes, talking about normal things as opposed to saving the galaxy, he really is an extraordinary actor, not just because he played my childhood hero, but because despite being the star of the biggest franchise ever, he is still completely down to earth, and has remained human."

The pair then spent the next hour and a half chatting about the "good old days" with Mark telling them stories as Jamie sat "enthralled" listening intently to his hero.

'AN EXPERIENCE WE'LL NEVER FORGET'

Patricia told the Belfast Telegraph that Mark was a "gentleman" and that it was a surreal experience they will never forget.

She said: "He gave Jamie really inspirational words and it was just such a surreal experience. I'm still speechless. He spent well over an hour, it was just like sitting down with an old friend. He was an amazing, charismatic person. It was just unbelievable.

"Everybody was completely comfortable and Jamie was just totally gobsmacked and overwhelmed and so happy."

"We were just sitting there and Mark just walked in and Jamie was talking and he just gasped.

"It was just an incredible moment for Jamie and as his parents sitting watching."

Patricia said they have been overwhelmed by the public support to get the attention of the actor.

She said: "It was the most lovely experience and one I'll never forget.

"We are just totally overwhelmed by the support from the public.

She added: "They were embracing and he had Jamie in tears and everybody was in tears.

"He was crying too, saying that Jamie was such a hero and saying how he was an incredible man and that he was the real hero. Jamie was in tears, he was in tears and Mark just held him for about five minutes."

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