BEIJING — An 8-year-old American boy's dying wish has come true, thanks to tens of thousands of Chinese social media users — and even though Facebook is blocked in the country.
Dorian Murray, of Westerly, Rhode Island, was diagnosed with a rare muscle cancer four years ago. Doctors last month informed his family that his rhabdomyosarcoma was no longer treatable.
Dorian told his father that he dreamed of becoming famous in China "because they have that bridge… people walk on it" — referring to the Great Wall of China.
Days after Dorian's family posted his request to their dedicated Facebook campaign page, he became a sensation on Chinese social media. By early Friday, Dorian's #DStrong hashtag was the number one trending topic on China's Weibo Twitter-like service, with more than 33 million views.
More 35,000 posts have been made on Weibo alone, including pictures of users posing on the Great Wall or elsewhere across mainland China.
"Little Fighter, I am in Shenzhen and I wish you strongly fight against this disease," one Weibo user posted. "There are a lot of people in China that like you. You are very famous in China!"
Even the government got involved with Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai taking time Thursday to pose in Washington, D.C., with the children of Chinese diplomats to send their best wishes to Dorian — an event recorded by state-run CCTV.
Dorian has also gotten some big support in the form of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who visited the family Monday night.
Although Dorian is famous in China, his family is still asking for well-wishers to post photos of support to their Praying for Dorian Facebook page.