Never underestimate the power of fans. They're not just people who get angry when you change something about a franchise. When the going gets rough, fans can be just as compassionate and helpful as when they're trying to strike a movie from official canon with unbridled zeal. The latest example of fandom do-goodery comes from The CW's Supernatural where Jim Beaver has played Bobby Singer for the last 13 seasons. Singer, a hunter, took over as a father figure for Sam and Dean in Season 2 after the death of their own dad.
Using social media, Beaver asked fans to help raise money for his 16-year-old niece, Kira (actually his niece's daughter), who has a rare form of brain cancer. The initial tweet came on November 18:
"It's a rare one," Beaver told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's a very scary disease, and she's got one of the scarier variations. They don't know much about how to treat it, and the treatments are, in some ways, experimental and insurance companies aren't crazy about paying for them. It's a terrifying time for us as a family."
After he put out the word, the family's GoFundMe page began to see an upsurge in donations. With over 1.2 million followers between his Twitter and Facebook pages, Beaver never doubted admirers of the show.
"I knew the moment I told the fans that we had gotten this devastating diagnosis that they were going to want to help in some way," he said. "I don't expect other people to take care of our problems, but lots of people banding together can do a great deal without any of them having to do anything enormous. That's why those $1 and $5 donations are as important or more important than whatever check I could write."
Before Beaver's posts, the page had only gained $70,000 of the $350,000 goal. Right now, it stands at $279,595. Moreover, fans have been sending Kira well wishes in the form of letters and cards:
This cause is extremely important to Beaver because he knows what it's like to lose a loved one to cancer. His wife, Cecily Adams (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), passed away in 2004 after battling the disease. Having the Supernatural community behind him and his family is an immense comfort.
"Every day I see evidence of how much caring and how much the milk of human kindness is part of this particular fan base," said Beaver. "I'm proud to be some little part of the show that has registered so strongly with people. This show is amazing by how much it positively affects people — and it's all on the fans."
The show's thirteenth season resumes on January 18 with the backdoor pilot "Wayward Sisters."