In Moana, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Maui, a trickster demigod who eventually must face his fears and step up to help save the day. Kids love Maui because he is comically buff and a softie deep down—just like Johnson. And one special kid named Hyrum Harris especially loves Maui because, as Hyrum battles cancer, Maui reminds him to “be strong.”
Johnson, who was “gut punched” by the boy’s story, took to Instagram to send Harris a supportive message.
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“There’s a little 3 year old boy out there named, Hyrum Harris. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia which is complicated by Down Syndrome. In the fight of his life right now and doing his best to stay strong – by watching MOANA up to 10xs a day because the character he loves, MAUI makes him feel strong,” wrote Johnson.
“According to Hyrum’s mama, his most important thing to say now is, I STRONG […] Hyrum, I know I’m a complete stranger to you – who sounds a lot like your hero, MAUI (only with a very large head), but myself along with millions of other strangers who will watch this video are sending you so much love, strength and mana your way.”
Micaela Brown, a friend of Hyrum’s family, saw the Instagram message and alerted Hyrum’s mom April Harris. Just in time, too. April told Scary Mommy that nurses were having some trouble getting blood from Hyrum, and they gave him the video to help him focus on something else.
“It was 3:30 a.m. We had only received the video two hours earlier. His port was not working to draw blood and two nurses were attempting to help by repositioning him in an effort to allow it to flow smoothly.”
According to April, Hyrum’s response to the video was “beautiful” and pure.
In a Facebook post, Harris shared that “Hyrum watched it and laughed out loud at The Rock’s head, and every time Dwayne said Hyrum’s name pointed to himself and giggled.”
“Hyrum loved the video, but the family who is up all night working through medication with the baby, the nursing staff caring for all the sick children on the floor, the family across the USA who can’t be there in person – ALL were given a boost – that they aren’t alone, that we are with them in spirit, and if they need a little help, they can borrow strength from The Rock.”
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Update from the video I posted. Look at this lil’ boy, Hyrum’s face. That’s some joy real right there. Thank you to the person who wrote this beautiful note. You’re absolutely right - joy and hope cost nothing and yet, is the most powerful gift we can give. Thats the real magic to life. #hopeforhyrum And thank you to my good buddy, Andy Fickman for texting me Hyrum’s story to begin with🙏🏾
Johnson responded to Brown’s emotional post, agreeing that “joy and hope cost nothing and yet, is the most powerful gift we can give. That’s the real magic to life.”
Hyrum has a lot of folks rooting for him, but it must feel extra special that the man who plays one of his favorite characters is sending him some super strength.