“Hey dad, you know what I really want before I go to heaven?”
Dorian Murray looked at his father, and his father looked back. The little boy has bright blue eyes and pale, almost translucent skin. The contours of his skull are clearly visible inside a head shorn of hair by repeated rounds of chemo.
“What’s that buddy?” Chris Murray replied, holding back tears.
The Murrays had recently found out that Dorian’s rhabdomyosarcoma, an acute form of muscle cancer, had progressed so far it was basically untreatable. Rather than spend more time in the hospital, the family opted to take their 8-year-old son home with them. They wanted Dorian to be comfortable during the little time he had left, his mother wrote. As comfortable as a kid can be when he knows he’s going to die.
“I would like to be famous in China,” Dorian told his dad, according to an account on Facebook.
Chris Murray was confused. China?
“Yeah, because they have that bridge.”
You mean the Great Wall, his father corrected.
“Yeah,” Dorian continued. “It is kind of a bridge. People walk on it.”
Murray said the only thing a father can say to his dying son.
“You very right buddy. Who knows, maybe you are famous over there in China.”
That was on Sunday. And somehow, in the five days since, the unpredictable alchemy of social media, human sympathy and Dorian’s beseeching blue eyes has made good on Murray’s desperate assurance. The family’s Facebook appeal for images from China with the Rhode Island second grader’s signature “D-Strong” logo elicited thousands of shares and responses, from China’s Great Wall and countless other spots around the globe.
#D-STRONG – You Are Famous On the Balkans!