#DStrong: Chinese Internet users help dying U.S. boy realize wish

Story highlights

  • Dorian Murray, 8, is dying from rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer
  • He told his mother he wants to become famous in China, home of the Great Wall
  • Chinese Internet users are uploading photos with the hashtag #DStrong

(CNN)Like many 8-year-olds, Dorian Murray wants to become famous.

Specifically, he told his father that he wants to become famous in China, land of the Great Wall -- that "bridge" that people walk on, as he put it.
Unfortunately, he doesn't have much time for that.
    The Westerly, Rhode Island native has been battling rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare form of pediatric cancer, ever since he was four.
    When doctors told him and his parents that his terminal cancer had spread and become untreatable, he decided to cease treatment and go home.
    Ten days later, his mother wrote about his very special wish on the Facebook page "Praying for Dorian."
    Dying boy wants to be famous in China
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      Dying boy wants to be famous in China


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    Word spread quickly halfway around the world.
    Internet users in China, where Facebook cannot be directly accessed, came out in droves to make the dying child's dream come true.
    Xu Jin, one of the earliest users to spread the message on Weibo, went to the Great Wall on the outskirts of Beijing and took photos of herself and others, posing with a sign saying "#DStrong."
    She also got a medal, in Dorian's name, which reads "I have climbed the Great Wall."
    Xu told CNN that she has sent both the medal and pictures to Dorian's family, alongside a model of the Great Wall.
    Photos of people holding up "#DStrong" signs at the Great Wall and other Chinese landmarks have since flooded social media in the country.
    By Friday, the #DStrong hashtag was among the top 10 trending topics on Weibo, China's dominant microblogging site.
    An official Weibo montage video of some of the best photos, uploaded Thursday, had gained more than 5,000 likes and 2,500 shares by Friday.

    Support abroad, and at home

    Melissa, Dorian's mother, said she was "amazed" and "awed" by the outpouring of support.
    "Dorian has brought so much inspiration to people, around the world," she posted on Facebook.
    Support for Dorian also comes closer to home.
    Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriot's tight end, paid a visit to the eight-year-old's home Monday night and gave him an autograph, reports local TV station WPRI.
    The governor and both senators of his native Rhode Island have posted photos of them holding "#DStrong" placards on Twitter.
    The Murray family also got to enjoy a day out Wednesday at the Mystic Aquarium and Foxwoods Resort Casino in neighboring Connecticut, where they received "VIP treatment".