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So, this is my 300th blog. Just noticed the other day that I was about to reach another round number here. And with such little jubilees, one might want to do something special - in the case of a blog: Write about something special, or about someone who deserves to be called that, because he is special.
Fate had it that I have someone to write about today, and he will make this a special blog.
The name in the title may be easily enough misleading, so let me state: No, I am not writing about Harry Potter here.
A while ago, I got to know another hero, who not only shares Harry Potter's first name, but also his bravery, his courage, his caring heart and his determination to go any length in order to do good things for others, even if he himself has so much to bear.
This other hero named Harry did not even have a wand - yet, I realized he was able to do magic, anyhow, because true magic comes from the heart.
Harry Moseley is this hero I am talking about.
Harry grew up like pretty much every other boy in England, I guess. But then, when he was seven years old, things started to change. Allow me to let Harry tell about this in his own words ...
"My story began in 2007. I had problems with my eyes so after lots of visits to the opticians and the local hospital, the doctors gave me an MRI scan. They told us that I have a brain tumour which is inoperable as it’s in a dangerous place, deep in my brain.
I began chemotherapy but it didn’t work and my tumour grew. My only other option was radiotherapy. That’s when I met Robert Harley who was also having radiotherapy for a brain tumour. We had our treatment on the same day, every day for six weeks so we became very good friends.
In 2009 Robert became very ill so I decided to make and sell beaded bracelets to raise lots and lots of money for brain cancer research to help make him better. Sadly four weeks into my campaign, my friend Robert died, aged just 55. I can no longer help Robert, but I know that he was proud of me and would have supported me - he wore one of my bracelets too.
I have regular checkups to monitor the size of my tumour. I am ok but I have problems with my eyesight and I get tired easily. I go to school most days, except when I have to go to the hospital.
I spend lots of time working on my campaign so that we can make a difference to all people that suffer with brain tumours."
I quoted this from Harry's website
Harry's campaign, that he started in 2009, went on over the years. Not only did he make those bracelets to raise money for cancer research, but he also spoke at many public events and on the media about cancer, what can be done about it, and why it is so important that research on this dreadful illness needs all the support and funding possible.
Due to his tireless efforts, and because of his good-hearted soul being the base of all of this, more and more people came to listen to Harry, and to support him.
Richard Taylor, Executive Director of Fundraising & Marketing at Cancer Research UK, said:
"Harry (…) single handedly raised over £85,000 for brain cancer research by fundraising and selling hand-made bracelets. He also helped Cancer Research UK raise hundreds of thousands of pounds by supporting our work and speaking about his illness at events."
Being a kid of the new millennium, Harry of course also knew how to use modern media to hand out his message and reach the eyes, ears and hearts of the public:
Harry's official website "Help Harry Help Others" became the place where people could learn more about Harry and his mission, and could contribute to his cause. Harry's YouTube channel saw him making vlogs, and Harry also gathered a continuously rising number of followers on his Twitter acount, who he called his "Twitfam".
Finally, his message even got heard across the Atlantic Ocean, when, in February 2011, Harry became a new member of the Kids Are Heroes rank of kids featured by this USA based non-profit organization that showcases children and teenagers from all over the world who make a difference, by giving back to the community.
Here's a message that Harry shared with Kids Are Heroes:
It's not easy for me to make a transition now, and to come from the life and and impact that this inspired and inspiring kid had on so many people (including me) to the reason for today's blog.
Late at night on Saturday, October 8th 2011, Harry lost his fight against cancer.
After his condition had taken a turn to the worse some four weeks ago, he finally had to undergo massive surgery. But the ordeal was too much, and his body was not able to recover, although his mind and heart were determined to make it.
Having been released from hospital last Friday, Harry passed away at home, surrounded by his loving family - and in the presence in spirit of tens of thousands of friends, his Twitfam, who had not stopped thinking of Harry since he had been hospitalized, and who's numbers rose by the thousands even during these last weeks, adding up to over 75,000 while I write these words.
It is so hard to say the final good-bye to someone you love and care for - and even more so if this someone is still a kid ...
My heart goes out to Harry's family - hardly knowing what to offer to you but my condolences, and the best wishes straight from my heart that you will be able to cope with your loss.
Still, I want to add something that you know, of course, but that is worth repeating: Harry has touched countless hearts, and inspired and motivated so many out there to also make a difference themselves.
This is a treasure he gave to our world, and that will always remain.
Godspeed, Harry ...
You will be missed dearly,
but you will never be forgotten,
and you will be loved for evermore.