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Westerly _ More than 200 people held a candlelight vigil in Wilcox Park Sunday night for Dorian Murray, the 8-year-old local boy suffering from terminal cancer who gained international fame this year after saying he wanted to become famous before he died.
Dorian’s health had taken a turn for the worse last week while visiting his grandparents in Florida, forcing him and his family to return home early.
His mother, Melissa Murray, posted on social media Saturday that her son is nearing the “end of life.”
“He is transitioning. Not sure how long we have, but it seems days is appropriate. Please pray for a pain free and peaceful transition to heaven. Always and forever #dstrong, #myhero, #myboy,#myworld, #myson,” she wrote.
Sunday’s vigil was led by Pastor Mark Benson of the Joy Fellowship Assembly of God in Bradford, R.I. It ended with the singing of “Amazing Grace.”
When Dorian and his parents, decided to discontinue his treatment for terminal cancer after New Year’s Day, the third grader at Springbrook Elementary School said had just one wish — he wanted to be famous. Even, he told his parents, as far away as the Great Wall of China, which he called the big bridge.
What started as a few posts by family and friends about his wish exploded into a wave of social media support for Dorian led by the hashtag #DStrong. One photo, “#dstrong — You’re famous in China” was quickly posted from the Great Wall.
Thousands of messages of support have not just come from Westerly and Stonington where his father Chris is a police officer, but from countries across the globe. Global news organizations such as CBS News and the BBC have done stories about him.
Celebrities posted their support on Twitter. Patriots star Rob Gronkowski came to Westerly to have dinner with Dorian and team owner Robert Kraft sent a limousine to take him and his parents to Gillette Stadium where they sat in a luxury box for a Patriots playoff game.
Signs of dstrong# in blue letters are plastered on the front of businesses, homes, schools, fire stations and police departments throughout the community.