My Name was Eric Welch. But Call Me – Darth Vader

Who would’ve thunk it? Darth Vader is a gym owner,  living in Canandaigua, N.Y, and has tattoos.

Eric Welch, grew up in foster homes and didn’t have strong family ties to his name. So, he changed it.

The name change happened last year, but the former Marine has been getting a lot of attention on the heels of the  The Force Awakens hoopla.

Vader chose the name because the Star Wars character “carried an aura of leadership and toughness”, which Vader tests by competing in half-marathons and endurance events.

Vader was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002. At some point, he will need a transplant. A GoFundMe  page was set up to help with Vader’s medical bills. The page has racked up more than $15,000.

“It keeps my mind off doctor’s appointments, of all that I’ve gone through, am going through and will continue to go through,” Vader says of training for races.


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