Eight-year-old terminal-cancer patient Dorian Murray wants to be famous in China. His family's Facebook campaign has gone viral in the Asian state, despite the social network being officially blocked.
Dorian Murray of Westerly, Rhode Island, knows that he is dying of cancer. He told his father that before he goes to heaven, he would "like to be famous in China... because they have that bridge," referring to the Great Wall.
Earlier this week, Dorian's family posted the conversation on their Facebook page "Praying for Dorian." Since then the message has gone viral on the Chinese Internet - despite the social network being blocked in the strictly controlled state.
The message has been translated and re-posted on Chinese sites with thousands of people uploading photos of themselves at the Great Wall, displaying the #D-Strong hashtag:
A page on China's Weibo social messaging site had been viewed more than a million times by Thursday midday.
Despite online controls in China blocking access to sites including Twitter and Google as well as Facebook, there were still efforts to respond to the Murray family's message: "I'm so sorry if you can't see how many people are responding in China," wrote one Weibo poster. "It's not that the Chinese people are indifferent - it's that we can't log onto Facebook."
But Murray's story made national headlines on Thursday as the state-run China Daily newspaper put it on the front page and announced: "Wish granted" on its Facebook account.
The Xinhua news agency published a commentary on a US case saying: "Love has magic power. A boy's imagination has turned the anti-invasion wall into a bridge that connects hearts oceans away." It concluded: "Language barrier, thousands of miles of distance, East to the West... all are nothing with this bridge."
jm/jil (EFE, AFP)