Friday 16 May 2014

A Heart-Warming Story

My last post was about a social media debacle.  This week, I have been struck by something much more positive - again on Twitter.  (I'd hate you to imagine I spend all my spare time on Twitter, but I do find it fascinating!)

Stratford Caldecott is dying of cancer. His family (whom we know) are naturally distraught; but not focusing on that, they have instead been focusing on how happy they have been as a family (see a moving piece here), and how they can make Strat's last day's a bit happier.

Apparently Strat has always been a huge fan of Marvel comics, and was sad that he was too ill to get to the cinema to see the latest Avengers film, and was likely to die before it was out on DVD.

So his daughter, Sophie, took to social media to run the #CapFor Strat campaign.  She posted on her blog about her father, and wanted two things.  One was to have a private viewing of the new Avengers film at their home before the DVD is officially released, so that Strat can see it.  The other was to have the stars of the film send her photos of themselves holding signs reading [character] for Strat. Within 48 hours she had selfies from The Hulk (who seems to have been one of the first, and prompted some of the others), Captain America and many of the rest of the cast; and also the promise of a private viewing of the film at their home.

She also got a massive number of messages of good will - and many funny selfies - from complete strangers.

Click on the hashtag  #CapFor Strat on Twitter to see the huge, and heart-warming response. This is what social media can do at its best: forge connections of compassion and understanding across huge numbers of diverse people - and educate them too (in this case about prostate cancer).  For Sophie's later reflections on this, see her more recent post here

For the record, when I'm on my deathbed, I wouldn't particularly want the Avengers assembled; but if you could arrange visits from, say Asterix and Obelix, or Mafalda, I would really smile.

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