Westerly boy battling cancer ‘energized’ by worldwide attention

dorian murray dstrong_244478

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) – An 8-year-old Westerly boy who’s captured the world’s attention with his courageous fight against cancer is handling the global media attention in stride.

“It has been a whirlwind,” said Dorian’s mom, Melissa Murray. “It’s unreal how this took off.”

Dorian has been fighting rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of pediatric cancer, since he was 4-years-old.

In December, after a checkup indicated cancer cells were in Dorian’s spinal fluid, Dorian and his family made the decision to stop treatment just after the new year and use the time he has left to spend with friends and family.

Just a few days ago, he told his mom and dad he wanted to be famous on the Great Wall of China. So, they asked their friends on social media to reach out their friends.

“I’m just thinking before I go to heaven to try to be famous as much as I can,” Dorian told Eyewitness News Reporter Walt Buteau.

Dorian’s wish went viral. His hashtag D-Strong was used around the world by people sending love and support to the brave little boy.

Since then, national and international media outlets – including CNN, CBS News, BBC News and even outlets in China – have picked up Dorian’s story.

While Dorian loves the attention, his mom says it is also a bit overwhelming.

“I’ve started to turn down offers because Dorian is getting frustrated with pictures and stuff. He just wants to relax a bit now,” Murray said. “Dorian is energized by the attention that he’s getting. He really loves it. I think he’s just not used to the paparazzi if you will.”

Murray said Dorian has a hospital visit Wednesday and after that the family is taking the night off and is going to try and stay low key the rest of the week.

“We just can’t do it all and I don’t want to wear him thin,” said Murray, who added that aside from some of his medications making him a little uncomfortable, he’s feeling ok and is pain-free right now.

His mom and dad hope to make their son as comfortable and happy as possible in the coming weeks. And his mom wants the world to know more about pediatric cancer, including the survival rate of about 20 percent and the lack of funding.

  • Coming Up Friday: Murray talks with Walt Buteau about her mission on this week’s Street Stories on Eyewitness News at 6

She might some day start a foundation to get that message out there but for now, her goal is to help her son smile as much as possible as the world stands behind him.

In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.

For updates on Dorian, visit the family’s Facebook page: Praying for Dorian.

  • To show your support, use #DStrong on social media.

WATCH: Eyewitness News interview with Dorian

Check out some of the Facebook posts from all over the globe that are trending right now:

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