Teen with terminal cancer has one final request: Be kind
“I wanted to leave my mark. I wanted to do my part to change the world,” she says.
After almost two years of chemotherapy, brain surgery and radiation, doctors told her the grim prognosis. Rebecca says that’s when she decided to come up with a bucket list.
Rebecca encourages acts of kindness
Her bucket list includes simple things like venturing out of the country for the first time, playing board games with her cousins and watching with her parents their favorite movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.”
“So many people wanted to help with my bucket list.” Rebecca says. “My dad has always told me to be kind. We talked about what we could do to involve everyone that wanted to help.”
They came up with “asking people to do acts of kindness.”
“It’s not easy for me to do acts of kindness myself. I can’t walk right now.”
Rebecca posted on Facebook in December asking if people would perform random acts of kindness and then post about it using the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo.
Her post said:
So, since so many people want to help with my bucket list, dad and I have masterminded a plan that will allow anyone to help with my bucket list. No matter how young or old, rich or poor, no matter where in the world you are you can participate. I want to create a mass of acts of kindness! I want to get a worldwide trend on Twitter of #BeccaToldMeTo its pretty simple. No matter who you are, if you see this message, please do an act of kindness for someone else. It can be as big or small as you’d like. Donate to charity, volunteer your time, or even just do the dishes without your parents asking. Shovel someone’s walkway or visit someone you know will be alone this holiday season. Get creative! Terry Fox wanted to impact the world, to help make it a better place, and I do too! Do something to make someone smile, and then tweet what you did under the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo so tell your friends, post it on imgur and Reddit, anything you can do to spread the word. I’m announcing it tonight so that it will begin on the last day of my radiation. So please, rally up and help make my wish to get this trending worldwide come true. The holiday season is a time for miracles!
And now people all over the world are sharing their good deeds using the hashtag.
“It was supposed to only be used on my last day of radiation. I woke up the next day and it [the hashtag] was still going.” Rebecca says.
“It doesn’t have to be a monetary donation. Just a smile. Just give your time. It doesn’t cost anything, for example, to shovel your neighbor’s driveway. Visit someone who might be lonely,” Rebecca says. “That’s what the message is really. It doesn’t matter how big or small your deed is as long as you do something, it will be appreciated.”
Meanwhile, Rebecca is enjoying the time she has left with her family and friends.
“Physically, I feel like I did when I was just recovering from chemo. I’m nauseous and exhausted but it doesn’t feel like I’m dying. I don’t feel like I’m going to die. I feel OK, I guess. As good as I felt before.” Rebecca says. “We try not to dwell on it. We focus on the good things. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. For the most part, we are not thinking about it.”
Her mother, Anne, says Rebecca is just being herself by asking people to give back to others.
“We are grateful for the support she is receiving in the community and worldwide,” Anne Schofield says. “The stories that people are sharing, it’s pretty amazing. To see her happy makes us happy.”