Seventeen-year-old Becca Schofield was told she has between three months to a year to live. And her last wish before she leaves this earth? For people to be kind to one another.
Diagnosed with cancer two years ago, Schofield, currently living in New Brunswick, Canada, has undergone chemotherapy, radiation, and brain surgery. While Schofield and her family thought she was out of the woods, earlier this month it was revealed that two inoperable cancer tumors have developed in her brain.
While very few of us can even imagine what that must feel like, it’s easy to assume that the devastation of such news would be all-consuming. Yet, instead of wallowing in sorrow, Schofield chose something different entirely — she chose to focus on kindness. After receiving the grim diagnosis, Schofield put together a bucket list and, with the help of her family, will try to complete as many wishes as she can.
As written on Schofield’s GoFundMe page, her parents, Darren and Anne Schofield, have taken time off of work, while Schofield’s sister, Gabrielle, will take a semester off of school to spend time together as a family.
“We are crushed beyond imagination,” wrote Schofield’s parents, “that our beautiful strong superhero will not win her battle with this horrible disease.” But the Schofields are taking each day as a gift and focusing on good things, while doing their best to make Schofield’s wishes come true.
Schofield’s bucket list is filled with small comforts like eating her dad’s mac and cheese, spending a day surrounded by puppies, and playing games with her family. But it also contains a few loftier goals like flying in a plane and getting a tattoo.
But her most impactful wish doesn’t have anything to do with herself — before Schofield leaves the world, she wants to start a mass act of kindness.
“People have a natural need to do good and that is what I am doing, I am being that vessel to do good,” Schofield told Global News Canada.
So, she and her father created #BeccaToldMeTo, a hashtag intended to encourage people to do something kind for someone else.
“It doesn’t have to be a monetary donation. Just a smile. Just give your time. It doesn’t cost anything, for example, to shovel your neighbor’s driveway. Visit someone who might be lonely,” Schofield told CNN. “That’s what the message is, really. It doesn’t matter how big or small your deed is as long as you do something, it will be appreciated.”
And little did they know, the hashtag has spread worldwide with submissions on Facebook and Twitter, in which people are sharing their good deeds.
From shoveling walkways …
… to buying a cup of coffee …
… to assisting the elderly, men and woman are helping Schofield complete her bucket list request.
Schofield explained that the inspiration behind her idea came from her dad. “I realize it feels amazing to give,” Schofield told TODAY. “My father always told me to be kind, so that what I’m doing. I’m just telling others to be kind like he told me.”
And as it turns out, doing good feels good, too. Schofield shared that she frequently goes online to see all of the generous things people have been doing for others — things she can no longer do herself, as she tires easily and has severe nausea.
“I’m always smiling because of it,” said Schofield. “Sometimes my cheeks start to hurt because I love it so much.”
Schofield’s parents have also been touched by the viral reaction to the hashtag, and, of course, their daughter’s inclination to spread goodness.
“I’ve always thought I had a pretty cool kid,” Schofield’s mom, Anne, told CTV News. “Now I get to share her with everybody. I think it’s heartwarming to see that the people’s kindness is coming out.”
Schofield has handled her diagnosis and the time she has left with compassion and grace. She touched the world with kindness, and it’s a better place because she was in it.
What will you do because #BeccaToldYouTo?More On