If there was any doubt that the toolish Wil Wheaton character on The Big Bang Theory is a very fictionalized version of the real Wil Wheaton, well, read on, and that doubt won’t last much longer than anyone caught in the path of a phaser set to kill.
On The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper ranks Wil Wheaton as his sixth all-time enemy — his contempt for the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor dates back to a 1995 convention that Sheldon traveled to via 10-hour bus ride to meet his childhood hero, only to discover upon arrival that Wil Wheaton hadn’t shown up.
The real-life Wheaton wrote a post on his Facebook page Tuesday about a full weekend of meeting fans that was decidedly different from Sheldon’s no-show story. The post starts out as a rather familiar and typical story about the joy a life-long geek-turned-famous finds in paying it forward at conventions, meeting fans who stand in line for hours to get his autograph and to share their appreciation for his work, much as he did at conventions growing up. Wheaton explains that last weekend at MegaCon in Orlando, Fla., he met “dozens of people who told me that they were scientists, engineers, doctors, or programmers because they were inspired by Wesley Crusher.”But his story turns worthy of an PopWatch post with the word “tearjerker” in the headline when Wheaton begins to recount one meeting with a fan “that stands out, that moved me so much, I’ve been struggling to find the right words to recount it.” He ends the post — about meeting a fan who recovered from illness and years later was well enough to come to his signing– by saying “I’m still overwhelmed when I think about what that means, and how I was part of it.” PopWatchers, grab a box of tissues and read an excerpt from his story below, then click over to Wheaton’s Facebook page for the full recounting:
On Saturday, a young woman walked up to my table with her husband and her two children. She handed me a typed letter and told me that she knew she wouldn’t be able to get through what she wanted to say to me, and would I please read it.
I unfolded it, and read her story. When she was a young girl, she had a serious complication due to her Lupus, and her doctors told her that she would never walk again. She had a photo of me, though, that she took with her to physical therapy every day, and the therapists would hold it up for her and encourage her to walk toward it — toward me — while she recovered. She made a promise to herself, she said, that she would walk again some day, and if I was ever in her town, she would walk up to meet me. At the end of her letter, she thanked me for being there, so she could *walk* to meet me.
I looked up at her through tears, and she looked back at me through her own. I stood up, walked around my table, and put about fifteen feet between us. I held my arms open, and asked her to walk over to me. She began to cry, and slowly, confidently closed the distance between us. I embraced her, and we stood there for a minute, surrounded by thousands of people who had no idea what was going on, and cried together.
“I’m so proud of you,” I said, quietly, “and I am so honored.”
We wiped the tears away, and I sat back down to sign a photo for her. I looked at her young children. “Your mom is remarkable,” I said, “and I know you don’t get it, because she’s, like your mom? But you have to trust me: she is.”
Wheaton’s full post, which already has over 9,700 likes, is available to read here.