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Netizens help ill boy realize 'famous' dream

Updated: 2016-01-15 07:41
By Zhao Xinying (China Daily Africa)

Eight-year-old with cancer, from US state of Rhode Island, tells father he wishes to be famous in China 'before I go to heaven'

Thousands of Chinese Internet users are involved in efforts to help an 8-year-old, cancer-stricken boy from the United States realize his dream. Dorian Murray of Westerly, Rhode Island, has been receiving responses from Chinese netizens after his father posted a plea on Facebook.

Among them are many Chinese standing at the Great Wall in Beijing and holding signs saying "#D-Strong" and "You are very famous in China." It is Dorian's dream to be famous in China and to see the Great Wall, which he called a "kind of a bridge. People walk on it."

Dorian has been fighting rhabdomyosarcoma, a pediatric cancer, since he was 4. Although the disease had been brought under control after a series of painful treatments, a medical checkup early this month found that cancer cells had spread to the boy's spinal cord and brain. The family decided to halt treatment.

Dorian then told his father what he wanted before going to heaven. The conversation between the boy and his father was posted on Facebook, where it was shared and commented on by thousands of Internet users, including many from China.

Some responded with photos taken at the Great Wall, in which they held signs with words of encouragement. Some left messages beneath the post, saying such things as, "I wish you recover soon", "I will do that for you" and "People in China are delighted to make your dream come true".

After the post was translated into Chinese and spread on China's social networking platforms, even more people were moved by the boy's story and have taken steps to help fulfill his dream.

After hearing Dorian's story, Xu Jin, a Beijing resident, drove 70 kilometers to the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall in north Beijing on Jan 12. There, Xu took some photos according to Dorian's wish and bought a model of the Great Wall and souvenir medals on which the boy's name is engraved.

Xu has asked a friend to upload the photos to Facebook in the hope that Dorian will see them and find some comfort.

"I just did what a human should do," Xu says. "Let's pray for Dorian."

A Chinese Internet user named Zhang Heng even made a souvenir badge for the boy that depicts Dorian on the Great Wall.

After receiving the regards and greetings, Dorian's father, Christopher Murray, said on Facebook on Jan 11: "A couple of the first photos to come in! The power of social media! More are coming in! Dorian is going to be so pleased! Keep them coming!"

The father also posted two of the photos, one of which showed Chinese netizens greeting Dorian with a large cardboard sign with encouraging words.


Netizens help ill boy realize 'famous' dream

(China Daily Africa Weekly 01/15/2016 page3)

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