Please Do an Act of Kindness for Someone

Lately, I’ve been seeing a bunch of my Facebook friends doing random acts of kindness for strangers using the hashtag BeccaToldMeTo.  For those of you not familiar with the story, grab a tissue. This story is as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming.

 

Meet Rebecca Schofield

Rebecca is a 17-year-old teenager from Riverview, New Brunswick (on the East Coast of Canada). At 17, she should have her whole life ahead of her. Instead, she recently found out she has 3 – 12 months to live and is literally living her “bucket-list” right now. She has requested that people do acts of kindness and post using the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo on Twitter and other social media channels. Seeing the positivity spread brings daily joy to both her and her family.

BeccaToldMeTo - Rebecca Schofield

Source: Facebook Posted: August 5, 2016 Caption: Feeling like myself again

 

Becca’s Battle with Butterscotch

This story is well covered in our local media, but I think the best source is right from Rebecca herself. She has an amazing way of keeping a positive outlook and maintaining a wicked sense of humor.  She articulately writes about her journey on a public Facebook Group called “Becca’s Battle with Butterscotch” which currently has 5,800 members. She writes like someone wise beyond her years.  She started writing to the group in 2015 when her battle started at the age of 15:

This is an open diary to share my battle with brain cancer, I was diagnosed on Feb 9th with a brain tumor and had surgery on Feb 10th to have it removed, it was either immediate surgery or I would fall into a coma and die. Follow my story of how I deal with the obstacles that come my way while remaining positive.

Butterscotch

It’s only today I was able to figure out the group reference to butterscotch. It all started way back in this post from Rebecca on September 15, 2015:

Butterscotch was my golf ball-sized tumor. I named it Butterscotch because fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself. I wasn’t going to let cancer terrorize me and leave me afraid of my body. So, I named it the dumbest ‘cutesy’ name I could think of. Unfortunately, this has made it harder for my family to stomach butterscotch. My mother has warned me that if I get another tumor not to name it ‘Wine’.

 

Snape and Umbridge

Fast forward to just before the Christmas holiday season, Rebecca delivers this post on December 4, 2016:

So.. in case you don’t read my mom’s posts or haven’t heard, we got some devastating news on Friday. They found two new tumours, (named Snape and Umbridge, my two least favourite Harry Potter characters) and they’re inoperable. They’ve given me three months to year to live if I’m lucky. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the news.. it’s not easy. I’m sad I’ll never get married. I’m happy that I’ll stop being sick. I’m sad I’ll never fully regain mobility. I have mixed emotions that I’ll never graduate high school, but I sure am happy to be done math.

I’m excited to write my bucket list, do everything on it, and live out the rest of my days as happily as I can. I’m happy my parents will let me get a tattoo. I’m scared, but eager to do all the amazing things I know I’ll get to do before long. I’m about to have a hell of a great year and I don’t know what else to say other than thank you for the support and strength you’ve given my family, and the kindness you’ve shown my family. Please try to think less of how my life will be cut short and more of how wicked awesome my time left will be! 

 

Becca’s Bucket List

There is a positive twist to this heartbreaking story and a very simple way to warm Becca’s heart. She posted this on December 15, 2016:

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. 

 

Terry Fox

Rebecca’s reference to Terry Fox struck a chord with me. For those of you that are not from Canada, he was our hero in the fight against cancer. With one leg amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada ‘Marathon of Hope’ to raise money and awareness for cancer research.  His cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi) and ultimately cost him his life at 22.

 

Mom, Dad and Sister

When Rebecca mentioned imgur in her message, I was curious because it’s not a site I usually visit. I’m not sure who posted the pictures and captions but it provides a very personal look at Becca in the hospital and touching photos of her smiling with her family & friends.

 

Local News Coverage and Video

Here is a collection of news items and interviews with Rebecca, her family and supporters:

#BeccaToldMeTo – Riverview teen with terminal cancer asks people to perform acts of kindness

New Brunswick teen with terminal cancer gets wish – #BeccaToldMeTo goes global

1/4/2017 Interview with Rebecca’s dad Darren

1/6/2017 Interview with Rebecca

beccatoldmeto - ctvnews

Community Support

The little town of Riverview is showing major support for the family, raising $11,267.52 from this restaurant fundraiser so that Rebecca’s parents can take time off work spend time with her:

What an amazing event! As a community, we came together and showed support for #BeccaToldMeTo, Darren Schofield, Anne Schofield and the whole family. Despite heavy rain, no parking, wait times, line-ups out the doors, busy phone lines, crashed website… the community ‘stubbornly’ refused to give up in supporting this great cause.

beccatoldmeto - riverview support

Source: Facebook

 

Worldwide Support

Acts of kindness are spreading around outside her home and native land (Canada).  Becca’s wish for kindness has reached: US, UK, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Iraq, Dubai and Kuwait. Someone in Riverview has shared with their exchange students from Germany,   Columbia, China and Japan.

There is also on online GoFundMe campaign to raise money that is nearing it’s goal of $40,000 (currently at $33K).

beccatoldmeto - gofundme

 

Can We Get Some Celebrity Support?

People on Becca’s Facebook group have already shared this story with Ellen. You know who else would be cool? Getting J.K. Rowling to share the story. I just tried tagging her on my Tweet.  Here is why I think that would be cool…

 

Becca is a Harry Potter Superfan

Rebecca is a HUGE Harry Potter fan and from what I read in the newspaper, was not able to travel to the Wizarding World in Orlando due to her health. On New Year’s Day, her cousins flew in from another province and arranged a Harry Potter day at a local Riverview church and set it up as magic station 9-3/4 where they played Harry Potter-themed games and had a movie marathon.

beccatoldmeto - harry potter floating candles

Source: Facebook

Becca’s Dad shared this recently:

Met a lovely lady named Janet Rossiter today. She made a very special cake for Becca that we had for dessert tonight. It was amazing in both looks (actually hated to cut it because it looked so perfect) and in taste (yum). Unfortunately, my pictures don’t do the cake justice. Thank you Janet and thank you Sweet Bites Cakes and Cupcakes.

beccatoldmeto - harry potter cake

Source: Facebook

 

My BeccaToldMeTo

It’s all fine and dandy for me to write a blog post about this and tell people to spread it. But after reading her stories, posts from her parents and others (grabbing a few Kleenex along the way), I was moved to do something kind for someone. I picked up a $20 gift card from Tim Hortons and gave it to a lady sitting on the street outside in the cold. I figured she could use it to go inside where it’s warm, get a hot drink and some food. She was happy and thankful and I told her the story behind it briefly.

beccatoldmeto - giftcardbeccatoldmeto - lady on the street

 

Remember Rebecca’s Words

Please try to think less of how my life will be cut short and more of how wicked awesome my time left will be!

No matter who you are, if you see this message, please do an act of kindness for someone else.

Do something to make someone smile and then tweet what you did under the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo

So please, rally up and help make my wish to get this trending worldwide come true.

 

Will You Help Spread Some Kindness?

Check out what everyone else is doing right now for some inspiration:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/beccatoldmeto

https://www.facebook.com/groups/892307520858849/

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/beccatoldmeto/