Thousands of netizens are pooling their efforts to help an 11-year-old girl with terminal cancer fulfill her dream of meeting her favorite boy band, One Direction.
Bethany Cobb, from North Carolina, was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma in September. Family friend Tracy Reynolds told Fox Carolina that despite undergoing surgery, clinical trials and other treatments, the cancer continues to spread.
Throughout the last few weeks, Bethany's family and friends have been working hard to make sure her days are as awesome as possible. That has included doing all they can to help the avid One Direction fan achieve her dream of meeting the British band.
In a March post on the "Battle with Bethany" Facebook page, which gives updates on Bethany's progress, Reynolds said the girl's family and friends had previously reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation ask if it could help Bethany meet 1D. Unfortunately, the nonprofit said they didn't feel they could fulfill that wish in time.
Reynolds then sought the help of strangers and asked Facebook users to do what they can to "help make Bethany's wish come true." She urged users to email One Direction's manager or send the group messages on social media.
Well, netizens have risen impressively to the challenge. At press time, some 30,000 people have liked the "Battle with Bethany" page, and many have taken to social media sites like Twitter to get the band's attention:
— Aaron Sweet (@aaronsweet_) March 25, 2014
— Amber (@DewyzeAmber) March 26, 2014
— Kennedy Buller (@kennedybuller) March 26, 2014
#1DforBethany an 11 year old's dream, try and get it trending my retweeting every tweet like this you see or tweeting it yourself
— Conall Keenan (@_conallkeenan) March 25, 2014
One Direction fans have also shown their support for Bethany this week. On Friday, the band's official fan page in Indonesia tweeted this:
— One Direction (@onedirection_ID) March 28, 2014
Bethany's family say they've been overwhelmed by the reaction their social media plea has triggered.
"We are so grateful," they wrote on the "Battle with Bethany" Facebook page this week. "We did not anticipate the overwhelming response with people contacting morning shows and news shows as well as reporters wanting to do live interviews… We so appreciate the love and support you all have provided throughout our journey, especially over the last couple of weeks!"
The family continued to say that though Bethany still does want to meet 1D, they expressed concern that the hoopla surrounding this effort may dim what's most important to them.
"More than any meeting with any musical group, we humbly ask for you to continue to pray for Bethany to have the peace that passes all understanding, hope in our eternal destination as children of our Father in Heaven and as much physical comfort that can possibly be given to her during this time," the family wrote.
There are currently no reports indicating that One Direction has reached out to Bethany or her family. However, the band has been known to go out of their way to bring comfort to fans.
In 2012, for example, the band took time out their schedule to meet with an 8-year-old girl with cancer, per an earlier Daily Star report. After band member Harry Styles kissed her on the cheek, the girl reportedly told her mom she's "never going to wash that cheek again."