WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND – An 8-year-old American boy with terminal cancer whose dying wish to become famous in China reverberated around the world has died.
Dorian Murray died Tuesday, according to a post on the boy’s official Facebook page.
“He was surrounded by people who love him and his transition to heaven was very peaceful. He was embraced by both mom and dad,” the post by family friend Kathryn Thomas said.
Dorian was diagnosed with a rare and untreatable form of pediatric cancer, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, when he was 4. After cancer cells spread to his spinal fluid, he and his family decided to stop his chemotherapy treatment so he could enjoy the time he had left.
Not long after, Dorian told his father he wanted to be famous in China before he went to heaven. His father, Chris, a police officer in Connecticut, posted the wish on Dorian’s Facebook page, urging people to use the hashtag #DStrong. It spread across the globe.
People from places as far away as Australia and Florida sent him photos and well wishes. In China, people sent photos of themselves on the Great Wall holding signs reading #DStrong. Dorian and his family also received invitations to travel to China, but declined due to his health.
Celebrities including Justin Bieber, Conan O’Brien, William Shatner and Paula Abdul were among those who sent him well wishes.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo called Dorian a hero.
“That little boy inspired us, and our heart and thoughts and prayers go out to his family.” Raimondo said Wednesday.