With only a few weeks left to live, 8-year-old cancer patient Dorian has one last wish: to be famous on the Great Wall of China. Thanks to an incredible outpouring of support from netizens across China, that dream has become a reality.
Ever since his father shared a Facebook post on January 10, 2016, Dorian has become an international celebrity, with his very own viral hashtag, #D-Strong, and a trending Weibo page.
Here’s the post that started it all:
Dorian was only 4 years old when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), a form of pediatric cancer caused by a mutation of young muscle cells.
Throughout 2012, Dorian underwent 6 surgeries, 53 radiation treatments and 54 weeks of chemotherapy, along with numerous blood and platelet transfusions. When doctors at Hasbro Children’s Hospital saw no further signs of additional tumor growth, he was let off treatment.
To his family’s dismay in June 2013, Dorian relapsed with 2 new tumors, putting him back into the routine of radiation and chemo. And this New Year’s Day, Dorian’s MRI revealed that his cancer had spread to his spine and brain.
Dorian and his family then had to make a choice: 1) Continue treatment and gain a few more weeks to live. 2) Stay home and enjoy time with his family. He quickly decided on the latter, hoping to live his dream of becoming famous in China.
“I’m just thinking before I go to heaven to try to be famous as much as I can,” Dorian explained. His family did not think it was possible, but social media has heard Dorian loud and clear.
Even though China’s firewall bans Facebook, Chinese netizens — young and old — have managed to leave loving messages on his Facebook fan page — directly from the Great Wall in Beijing. Meanwhile, a Weibo page dedicated to Dorian is nearing 40,000 comments with thousands showing their support by posting travel photos and creative artwork.
Here’s a message from Dorian himself:
Thank you to all Dorian's supporters!
Posted by Praying for Dorian on Monday, August 27, 2012
You can support Dorian’s family by donating here.
By Eugenia Xiao
[Images viaFacebook // Weibo]