Her name is Niamh Curry and she is five years old. And even though her story is a tragic one, it can give individuals in a similar situation hope. She suffers from neuroblastoma which is a rare form of cancer that attacks the nerve cells.
Her parents, Chris and Samantha were told that the treatments and surgeries her little girl had been getting here in the UK were no longer working and that the only hope is a very expensive treatment over in America. In order to save their daughter’s life, the family had to raise £450,000.
At first it seemed like an impossible task but with will power, determination and love for their child, Chris and Samantha have managed to raise £75,000 in just one month.
The remarkable tool which has made such a difference to this family’s life is Twitter. I am a regular tweeter myself and think it’s wonderful to see how a post of just 140 characters or less can raise awareness to stories that really deserve attention. With the help of her 13,400 followers and I am proud to say that I am one of these followers, Niamh continues to battle against cancer.
Twitter is now the third most popular social media site. There have been occasions, where Twitter users were able to break news of occurrences before any mainstream media outlets could publish them and in the words of William Laurent, Twitter has created an ever-evolving real-time feedback loop between businesses and consumers.
While there are critics out there who think that nowadays society lives in an online, virtual and computer generated world, it is tremendous to see that Twitter is not all about telling people what you have had for breakfast or what country you are going to next.
Twitter is all about sharing ideas, wishes and thoughts. It is Chris and Samantha’s wish that somehow, they can save their daughter’s life. The only way of achieving this is to create additional awareness. By tweeting and retweeting their story every user is sharing it with their followers and after all, sharing is caring.
The more I read about Niamh’s story, the more moved I am by how generous people can be and that someone’s life can be changed so dramatically with a few simple clicks on the internet.
It isn’t just people in the UK who are trying to make a difference; there are plenty of events going on all over the world to raise money for Niamh. However, in order for the treatment to be successful, Niamh has to travel to America this summer which turns life into a battle against time and even though the little girl with the big blue eyes is still smiling, the clock doesn’t stop ticking.
Now, little Niamh is a celebrity and I think she fully deserves it. On the website, Niamh’s Next Step everyone can read updates and be part of the journey. “However hard life may be, what matters most is that you never, ever give up” is the family’s favourite quote and they keep it close to their hearts; and I think so should everyone else.