I think it was on Tuesday afternoon that I first saw this: “15 year old girl with terminal cancer has written a bucket list. Let’s see if we can make some of it come true“.
Alice Pyne is indeed a 15 year old girl, from Ulverston who has been fighting cancer for four years. She started a blog on Monday saying a little about herself and posting her “bucket list”, a list of things she would like to do before she has to go (her words). Alice’s blog is here: Alice Pyne.
The things on Alice’s list are not extravagant, they range from entering her dog into a labrador show to meeting Take That and swimming with dolphins.
One of the other things that Alice mentioned was that she wanted to “trend on Twitter”. If you don’t know about Twitter, trends are popular topics that people are talking about. They form a list over time when people use the prefix of a #. It means you can then click on that # and see what other people are saying. For instance, during The Apprentice you can follow what other people are saying about the entrants by going to #theapprentice.
So popular topics of the day trend quite quickly. But you need a lot of people to be talking about a particular topic to get it to trend. And then it might only trend near you if it relates to a local person / event. Or it might become national. Or it might become international if it is something like #RIPMichaelJackson.
Trends come and go and you quickly get bumped off the # list if something else comes along.
By yesterday afternoon, two days after starting her blog #alicebucketlist had been started and every other tweet on my timeline said “Alice is a 15 year old with terminal cancer who has written a bucket list. Please see Alice Pyne. Pls RT this. #alicebucketlist”. Normally this would be really annoying as it generally relates to something nobody is interested in, its like the viagra email in your inbox. However, this Tweet was different.
Everybody is getting behind Alice. Her wishes are coming true. Not only is she trending on Twitter, and 24 hours later, she is still at the top, worldwide. But people are saying “I can help with that” and getting in touch with her via her blog to make arrangements.
In ten minutes just now there were 380 new tweets containing #alicebucketlist. That is an astonishing figure. People really want to help Alice and they are making this happen. PRs / photographers / hotels / celebrities with connections are all getting in touch with Alice’s parents and making arrangements to help out.
10 years ago, how would a parent go about making their child’s last wishes come true? It would be a long slog and they might achieve one or two. It’s why amazing charities such as Make A Wish were set up.
Alice has updated her blog today. What does she talk about? Not what has been arranged and when she will be doing them or how excited she is. But its people signing the bone marrow register, not something for her, but something we can all do to help others. How amazing selfless is that? That and how they have had offers of money but don’t need it, this isnt about begging for “stuff”. It is about experiences, doing things that any ordinary 15 year old would want to do.
Except Alice is far from ordinary. She is extraordinary.
Alice is about to embark on the most amazing summer of experiences, and has promised to take photos and to post them on her blog for us to see.
You too though can help make one of her wishes come true and it won’t cost you a penny. Sign up to become a bone marrow donor. You can do it here: Anthony Nolan
Alice, I don’t know if you will ever read this little blog but you are one of the most amazing 15 year olds I have ever heard about. And I say that as the mother of three children, two of whom have reached that age.
We can’t grant your ultimate wish of beating cancer but maybe we get a step closer to granting yours and to maybe one day finding a cure by all signing up to the register.