To stay in a caravan. To swim with sharks. To go to Kenya. To go to Cadbury World and eat lots of chocolate.
These are just a few of the items on Alice Pyne's bucket list. The 15-year-old girl from North England has been fighting cancer for four years and now the online community is fighting to help her cross as many items as possible off her list. This week her story has been a popular trending topic on Twitter ( #alicebucketlist) as strangers around the world work to help her realize her dreams .
Alice's blog is where she explains that she has come to terms with her terminal illness. "It's a pain because there's so much stuff that I still want to do," she writes. "I guess that my particular cancer is made of strong stuff (which is hard because I know I gave it my all and I'm strong and determined too)."
As a parent, and really for anyone, it's hard to keep reading. The young girl's strength seeps out of every word and her smiling face reminds us what's important in life. Even more heartwarming are the more than 1500 comments on this first post. Reader Karen offers a caravan to stay in and Jane offers to help Alice get to Cadbury World. However, it's the first item on her list that is making the biggest impact.
"To make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor." According to CBSNews.com, Alice has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I am all too familiar with this type of cancer. My first cousin Tyler died from this disease in his late twenties. While I was in university in Halifax I visited him throughout his final days at the hospital. My brother Jeff was a bone marrow match, but even after the transplant, sadly, Tyler didn't pull through .
As UK-based charity AnthonyNolan.org reports that this spring Alice inspired more than a thousand people to join their register of potential donors after her family set out to raise awareness about her fight at a number of local events. With this recent online push, this number will no doubt surge.
So far, Alice reports on her blog that many of her wishes are coming true. She's off to see one of her favourite bands, Take That, this weekend. From the thousands of comments it looks as though Cadbury is working on a trip for the young lady so she can indulge in as much chocolate as she likes and the other offers are too numerous to count. "Oh dear and I thought that I was just doing a little blog for a few friends!" writes Alice. "Thank you so much for all your lovely messages to me. I don't sleep very well and I sat up all night reading them as they came in from all over the planet, every single one, and they have made me smile so much so that is a good thing."
As Alice writes on her Blogger profile page, "If today was your last day on this earth, how would you spend it?" Great question from a brave little girl.