Lovingly dubbed “Princess Leah,” the baby – daughter of avid “Star Wars” fans Francesca and Zev Esquenazi – is suffering from an as-of-yet undiagnosed neurological condition that causes her tiny body to shake uncontrollably, along with extreme difficulty breathing, cataracts and other symptoms.
In and out of hospitals for the last eight months, the Esquenazi family told Access Hollywood they are $2.5 million in debt due to Leah’s mystery illness (which continues to baffle a team of over 60 doctors) – a burden the “Star Wars” community is attempting to ease with the auction of two “Clone Wars” helmets signed by over 40 “Star Wars” actors, directors, editors, writers and artists, including George Lucas, Seth Green and Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca in the famed films).
In a phone interview on Saturday, Access spoke with “Angel Phil” who is an active member of “Princess Leah’s Angels” – a private Facebook group (which is no longer accepting members) dedicated to garnering support for the struggling family – who spoke for the Esquenazis, as Leah had suddenly developed severe breathing difficulties and was being rushed back to the hospital.
“They have been overwhelmed,” Phil told Access of the continuously heartwarming outpouring of support from the “Star Wars” community and social media users. “The response from not only the ‘Star Wars’ community, but Facebook [and] the world has been overwhelming.”
Phil said Leah’s parents were repeatedly cautioned that due to our fast-paced society, the public’s interest would inevitably wane, and Facebook groups would become idle.
However, the Esquenazis have experienced quite the opposite.
“They’ve been finding that it’s been growing stronger… [even] people with very limited means are still finding ways to help them,” Phil shared.