If you could think of one person who could brighten your day with a simple message, the flash of a smile, who would it be? Or how about when you’re overwhelmed and weary and you put on a movie for a brief escape from your day? Is there an actor whose movies bring you so much joy they can change your mood? For Olivia, that person was Dwayne Johnson.
When I first heard Olivia’s story, I was caught by surprise. A physician at the local hospice approached me and asked me if I could try and arrange something with Mr. Johnson for a woman he was caring for that was a “superfan” for more than two decades. He told me of Olivia, a 65 year old charming and vibrant woman who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I learned that Olivia first became aware of Mr. Johnson during his time as a professional wrestler in the late 1990s and had followed his work ever since. She even memorized the year of release for each of his movies, and knew where he was filming his latest projects. Olivia’s children spoke to the hospice physician and informed him that Olivia wished her condition was stable enough to travel across Canada to Mr. Johnson’s current filming location. Unfortunately, Olivia’s condition wouldn’t allow her to make this trip.
After speaking with Jason (eventual co-founder of Oneday Dreams), we wanted to try and make something happen for Olivia. We reached out to Mr. Johnson’s team and hoped for the best.
Within hours, we received our answer. Not only would Mr. Johnson record a video message for Olivia, he also took an interest in her story. Mr. Johnson took the time to learn about Olivia and her life, and sent her a personalized video message sending appreciation, love, and support.
DWYANE JOHNSON Instagram Post
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Words can’t explain the joy I felt when Olivia watched her video. Myself and the hospice team were able to sit back and witness Olivia and her daughter Tamarra watch Mr. Johnson’s video. At first, Olivia asked “is that who I think it is? Is he talking to me?” Tamarra described it best:
“It brought tears to me because it was so joyful to make her feel special at that moment. That video made her feel like a celebrity in that moment, and nothing else mattered.”
CTV Windsor News Story
In the days that followed, Olivia became something of a local legend. News networks were thrilled to hear about her personal message from Mr. Johnson and reached out to Olivia and her family to hear about her experience. Dwayne Johnson himself shared the video on his Instagram account, where it was viewed over 13 million times. Social media posts quickly filled up with thousands of messages of love and support from all around the globe.
Olivia was able to watch the video six days before she died. That moment was not about cancer, not about treatments, not about healthcare. That moment was about life, living, and joy. And it was a moment that not only meant a lot to Olivia, but it was a moment that her family will never forget.
Co-founder of Oneday Dreams