Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dying boy gets last wish to be famous in China

Sad tale ends with the death of 8-year-old media darling — but foundation offers upbeat note

I, Woody Weingarten, wrote the VitalityPress book "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," aimed at male caregivers, to show how having cancer can have an upside.

But the sad story of an 8-year-old Rhode Island boy with terminal cancer whose last wish was to become famous may bring with it even more hope.

Dorian Murray died about a month ago, not long after his story went viral and, in turn, led to his becoming an instant media darling.

Dorian Murray
For the most part, Dorian's 15 minutes of fame has already faded, supplanted on feature pages by slightly less meaningful articles about the size of Donald Trump's genitalia, the dwindling effects of El NiƱo, and Cameron Diaz supporting Drew Barrymore through her third divorce.

The courageous little boy, who lost a four-year battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and untreatable soft tissue cancer, initially had garnered world-wide attention through social media — including celebrities such as Justin Bieber, William Shatner, Paula Abdul, Conan O'Brien and Morgan Freeman.

The subsequent media explosion revolved around his seemingly inexplicable wish to become famous in China before he shuffled off to Heaven.

The wish resulted, among other things, in people sending photos of themselves on the Great Wall holding signs promoting his hashtag, #DStrong.

Murray's parents, Chris and Melissa, are now hoping that the Dorian J. Murray Foundation they founded can support research and, moreover, spread awareness of pediatric cancer.

As a result, although the public's appetite for sensationalism apparently is insatiable, Dorian's death may not be the end of the story.

It might become a new, upbeat note of hope.

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