8-year-old boy’s dying wish to be famous in China comes true

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — An 8-year-old Rhode Island boy with terminal cancer has fulfilled his wish to be famous in China.

Dorian Murray, of Westerly, is dying of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer. He was diagnosed at age 4. Doctors recently told his parents that tests had found cancer cells in his spinal fluid and brain, his mother, Melissa Murray posted Jan. 1 on a Facebook page set up to support him. She said the news meant chemotherapy would not help, and Dorian and his parents decided to stop it so they can enjoy the time he has left together.

Beijing resident Xu Jin poses with a sign declaring "#DStrong" on the Great Wall.
Beijing resident Xu Jin poses with a sign declaring “#DStrong” on the Great Wall.

Earlier this week, Dorian told his father what he really wants before he goes to heaven. “I would like to be famous in China,” he told his father, Chris Murray. He told his dad it was because they have “that bridge,” referring to the Great Wall of China.

His father posted the wish on Facebook, asking for people in China and elsewhere to send a picture to Dorian with a sign saying “#D-Strong.” The wish spread across the globe, prompting thousands of responses from Australia to Russia to Florida.

It especially struck a chord in China, where it became a trending topic on Weibo, the Twitter-like microblog service, as people sent out photos for Dorian from classrooms, offices, the Great Wall, the Yangtze River Bridge and elsewhere.

Liu Ping, CEO of tourism company China Star, told China’s official Xinhua News Agency that she went to the Great Wall and got tourists to pose for photos holding a sign.

“I was touched by the boy,” she told the news agency. “He was so young, but in the face of death he appeared so strong. I felt obliged to do something for him.”

In a posting on the Facebook page, Dorian’s family thanked the world for the response, and called #D-STRONG not just a hashtag, but a movement.

“Dorian has brought so much inspiration to people, around the world! I couldn’t be more proud of my son,” Melissa Murray wrote.

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