It takes something – or someone – special to command attention online. We know, for we’ve spent a long time attempting to add to our global audience in recent months.
Bearing that in mind, we’ve been astonished to learn about a blog that, although it started just this week, has gone on to become the third most discussed subject on the entire internet.
Take into account that the blog in question is the work of a 15-year-old girl and this tale becomes even more extraordinary, we’re sure you’ll agree.
From the UK to the Ukraine, from Chile to China and from Rhode Island to Russia, people all over the planet are talking about Alice Pyne.
In recent days, Alice has proved beyond doubt that this is a small world indeed. This is connection, connection like never before.
Sadly, this tale has a tragic undertone. On her blog site – found at www.alicepyne.blogspot.com – Alice lists her occupation as Full-time cancer fighter.
“I’ve been fighting cancer for almost four years, and now I know that the cancer is gaining on me, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to win this one,” she explains. “It’s a pain because there’s still so much stuff that I want to do.”
Inspirational doesn’t begin to describe it. It is difficult not to admire Alice, impossible not to be touched.
The remarkable thing is that Alice has no desire to elicit sympathy, for that, it seems, is not in her nature. Nor does she seem to be feeling self-pity, just a determination to squeeze as much as possible into the time she has remaining. To that end, she has created a bucket list.
Is that phrase familiar to you? It’s a reference, or so we’re told, to the 2007 movie The Bucket List in which Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, cast as patients suffering terminal illnesses, take a memorable road trip armed with a wish list of things to do before they die, or ‘kick the bucket’.
In England, in real life, it was suggested to Alice that she create, and blog, about her own such list. The effect has been poignant, the response remarkable.
“Oh dear!” wrote Alice, overwhelmed at the incredible interest her tale has generated. “I thought I was just doing a little blog for a few friends. There isn’t a ‘Paypal’ or a ‘donate’ button on here, because I didn’t mean for this to be such a big thing and I don’t want money giving. It was just so I could write on here and do the things I wanted to do and my friends could read about them.”
The bucket list in question is, characteristically, quite modest – a photo shoot for Alice and her friends, a private cinema party, a trip to a theme park, the chance to meet her favourite band – although, heartbreakingly, the more ambitious items – visiting Kenya, becoming a dolphin trainer – are, due to the seriousness of her illness, beyond her reach.
Not that Alice is dwelling on such matters, writing: “It’s nice that you’re all here and we’ve been offered so many wonderful experiences that I’ve definitely got a lot of exciting days ahead.”
That Alice’s chief goal is to inspire a significant increase in the number of people joining bone marrow donation schemes says everything about this teenager, a teenager to treasure, a teenager touching the world.
That she is also a teenager connecting the planet speaks loud and clear to us here, in our studio in Saunderstown, where we first heard about Alice through our connection with the Team George charity, supporting brave little George Johnson, still sick in his hospital bed.
Such are the astonishing connections she has made, though, there’s little doubt that we’d have heard about her from another source at some point.
For after all, this is a subject discussed during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Houses of Parliament in London this week, a subject that, as #AliceBucketList, soon become a trending topic on Twitter, a subject that has spread like wildfire, a subject that has gone, in computer talk, viral.
It is a subject that serves to remind us that the connections are there, that it just takes something, someone, to pull on those strands, to unravel it all, to bond us all, to unite us.
That someone is Alice Pyne, to whom we send our heartfelt admiration, our best wishes, our support and our love.
You, Alice are remarkable. You, Alice, inspire us all.
You, Alice, have touched the entire planet.