Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Gives Sweet Shout-Out to 3-Year-Old Boy Battling Cancer Who's a Fan of His Maui Character in 'Moana'
On Monday Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson took to social media with a special video message to 3-year-old Hyrum Harris, who is bravely battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
When Dwayne heard the story of Hyrum Harris, it had such an impact on the actor that it inspired him to share and offer his support.
Little Hyrum's leukemia diagnosis is complicated by Down Syndrome. While fighting for his life, Hyrum watches the animation film "Moana" several times a day because the one character, Maui makes him feel strong enough to do anything.
"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. I STRONG. Love, the Rock aka the dude who sounds a lot like Maui," Dwayne captioned the video.
Dwayne voices the character Maui in the popular 2016 film, and the actor explained in the video that Hyrum is one of "the coolest little boys around" because of his brave fight against his disease.
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Cancer, day 28 continued. So many highs and lows today. For days we have been trying to identify why Hyrum is so upset. Is it social anxiety because of the constant revolving door his hospital room has? Is it a medication reaction to his weekend antibiotics causing urinary pain? Is it bone pain? Nerve pain? General feeling crappy and he just needs to cry pain? I wish I knew the answer. Last night we offered him something stronger than Tylenol for pain for the first time. He continues to have obvious urinary pain with this weekend antibiotic specific for pre-treating pneumonia. He went 10 hours without any urine output. Which is no big deal for some of us. But he is getting pumped full of fluids and his body can't possibly retain that much without doing damage. We had to give him something to relax his body. His port stopped working again and 4 am labs could not be performed until it was resolved. We haven't had such an intense night since the beginning of this journey when Hyrum was in acute respiratory distress. There was no sleep and when there was it was broken and restless. I think about the tagline Ashlyn picked out... #Hopeforhyrum. It reminds me to have hope. To look upward. To focus on the tiniest of happy in our day. Today that hope was the repeated viewing of the beautiful video we received from Dwayne, the Rock, Johnson. Hyrum watched at 330am when we were trying to positionally access his port. (I didn't know that was a thing) Hyrum's reaction was beautiful. Every time he heard his name, he smiled big, pointed at his chest and repeated 'Hyrum' in his very sweet quiet voice. He giggled at the idea that a head could be the size of a rock. He looked at me with big eyes when the song began and sang your welcome right along with the video. I know it is impossible to know how to help us. We don't even really understand our needs to fullest yet. What we do need is strength. Prayers. Love. Support. Today the strength of you all replaced my own as my 3 hours of sleep left me empty. Tonight we repeated the pain meds and Hyrum is settled, watching Moana. I will never forget this day. This video. It has affected us all. #hopeforHyrum
"What is important is that I heard you love a movie called Moana, which is crazy because I love that movie too,” Dwayne added. “I also heard you watch Moana almost 10 times a day because the character you love, Maui, gives you strength.”
After the 47-year-old explained that people have told him how much he sounds like the character Maui, he gave a heads up to singing Maui's song in the film, "You’re Welcome" especially for Hyrum.
After singing a few bars of the song, Dwayne ended the video with heartfelt words of encouragement as he said, "I’m a big fan of Maui, too, and I’m a big fan of yours. Thanks for inspiring everyone around you, including myself. Stay strong, Hyrum.”
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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. According to Hyrum’s mama, his most important thing to say now is, I STRONG. Yes you are big man. Yes you are. 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. I STRONG. Love, the Rock aka the dude who sounds a lot like Maui.
Dwayne's supportive gesture became a moving experience for the entire Harris family. With five other children to care for, Rich and April Harris felt "astonished" at the amount of support and love they received since Dwayne posted the video.
According to April, young Hyrum loved the video and he even giggled when Dwayne talked about his "big head." Whenever the actor mentioned Hyrum's name, he would point to his own chest and sweetly repeat "Hyrum," like he knew the video was especially for him.
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Cancer day 11. Introducing Hyrum as... an X-ray! When I picked up this cute pair of PJs I had no idea they would be so fitting for his Halloween experience this year. He is doing well today. His "numbers" are responding well to the chemo. Which essentially means, his red blood count and platelets look closer to normal. The docs check that every morning at 4 am by drawing blood from the port that was surgically placed in his chest. I know that sounds terrible, but it is a blessing. It keeps an IV like access connected to it the whole time we are in patient. All his blood work and IV fluids and meds are administered through it. No daily pokes for blood and no having to move an IV every few days. The daily bloodwork tells us if Hyrum needs a transfusion. Most days he has a gradual drop in the numbers. Today they are the most normal we have seen them since being admitted. Probably because he received both blood and platelets yesterday. Today is ment to be fun. We are hopeful it stays stress-free here and you all are safe as you go trick or treating in our place! #hopeforHyrum
“He looked at me,” April elaborated to PEOPLE. “Smiled so big. Sang ‘You’re Welcome’ right along with the video. It was touching. Hyrum’s smile is infectious [and] healing to those that serve him and love him.”
The actor later updated on the video he posted and shared a touching message someone had written about the impact of Dwayne's video on others.
Noting what a "powerful gift" hope and joy can be without costing a thing, it didn't just have an impact on Hyrum, but also on everyone around him.
Some of the family members living across the US can't be there to support Hyrum in person, nursing staff that tends to the entire floor's sick children, and Hyrum's immediate family who are up all hours of the day making sure he gets his medication. They all felt their spirits lifted after watching the video.
"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," the message read in part.
For anyone wishing to donate towards the family's medical expenses, they have a GoFundMe page set up for Hyrum.
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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🙏🏾
Relatedly, another WWE star and actor, John Cena recently reached out to 8-year-old Rocco Lanzer, who received his leukemia diagnosis in January, to offer his support.
The WWE star surprised Rocco with tickets to his WWE performance and gave the youngster some of his latest gear. "He's nice and strong and inspirational. He reminds kids to never give up," John said as he granted his 500th wish for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
John Cena can be seen in the new film about firefighters, "Fighting With Fire," and extended his charitability on First Responders Day with a pledge to donate $500,000 to the CA FireFound & the LAFD Foundation, to help with the extraordinary work they do in keeping the community safe.