Last night, the world lost a hero. It happens a lot. But this time, he was only 8 years old. His story began in a small Rhode Island seaside town. At the tender age of 4, Dorian Murray was diagnosed with Cancer. His life, and that of his parents, became a long road of painful tests and invasive procedures. It’s likely that he didn’t remember any other kind of existence. In December, they learned that the Cancer continued to spread, despite their best efforts. With his parents’ loving support, a little boy made a very adult decision. He stopped treatment.
Asked what he wanted from what remained of his short life, Dorian wished to be famous. It started with posts on social media, like Facebook and Twitter. Before long, store marquis around New England proudly announced that they were #DStrong. Famous athletes visited the boy. Entertainers posted their pictures holding signs with the now internationally recognized #DStrong. Dorian was invited to the White House. He achieved overnight celebrity status.
It was the interviews with the child that caught my attention. In the midst of all the attention and fame, Dorian remained grounded and unchanged. While the words he used often reflected his young age, his message was anything but. In return for his notoriety, Dorian provided us with wisdom that usually take a lifetime of lessons to learn – a much longer lifetime that what he was given.
Dorian showed us how to be courageous in the face of the most devastating circumstances. He displayed a deep understanding of acceptance. Rather than fight it or allow it to darken his days, he made the most of it. He made his dreams come true.
He gave us hope as he lived a life well-lived, in such a short period of time. Dorian may not have beaten Cancer, but it was clear that Cancer had not beaten him. He looked it in the eye and took control of what time he had left. He talked about going to Heaven, refusing to let the illness have the final word.
When he was in his final hours, his mother announced the foundation that was created in his name, to continue his legacy of bringing attention to childhood Cancer. The Dorian J Murray Foundation will provide funding for pediatric Cancer research and support to families of children with Cancer. Dorian will continue to inspire us.
In my blog, I write often about living our best lives by making decisions that reflect what’s important and what will keep us on the path to attain that which we desire. I am deeply humbled by a little boy who showed me all of that, and much more. Today, I will remember Dorian and keep his family in my prayers. Moving forward, I will honor his memory with mindful awareness of what is really important.
Dorian was a role model for all of us: Practice acceptance. Find joy. Believe in your goals. Be humble. Don’t ever let your dreams die.
Thanks, Dorian. Rest in peace in the arms of angels, always.