Becca Schofield is not like other 18-year-olds. She has trouble performing many everyday tasks and can’t do a lot of things like friends her own age can. Some days are worse than others. Tragically, this is because she has terminal brain cancer.
She didn’t choose to have cancer, but she is choosing to remain happy, positive, and most importantly, to encourage others to be kind.
“I can’t control the fact that I have cancer. I can’t control the fact that I’m dying,” Schofield explained to CBC News. “But I can control the fact that I’m not going to be bitter about it … it’s not fair but I can control my emotions.”
“I can control doing what makes me happy and living the life that I want to live with the time that I have.”
— Zachary Wells (@zachwells88) October 28, 2017
Despite her condition, Schofield, who is from New Brunswick, Canada, continues on in life fiercely committed to not allowing her condition to emotionally ruin her remaining days. Rather, she is instead using kindness as her fuel to keep going.
According to Schofield, there’d be no point simply wallowing in depression, as it wouldn’t solve anything. Instead she looks to happier means of learning to cope with her situation.
“Being sad isn’t going to cure me, being rude isn’t going to cure me, being unkind isn’t going to cure me.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 26, 2017
Schofield is aware that she doesn’t have that much time left. As a result, in addition to spending lots of time with her family and friends, she wants to do something that will leave a legacy that will continue on long after she’s gone.
She sees her positivity as the thing that keeps her going, so she wants to use this concept to promote kindness and positive actions. This idea led her to social media and the creation of the hashtag, #beccatoldmeto.
“When I used to see videos … people doing great things, I would think, ‘That’s awesome, I wish I could do stuff like that,’ and that’s really how the hashtag started,” Schofield explained. “I was too tired to be able to go out and help on my own so it was more of a request to everyone.”
“Just taking five seconds out of your day and smiling at someone—that’s being kind.”
In the days since the hashtag came about, it has exploded on social media. Thousands of users have tagged their acts of kindness with #beccatoldmeto, inspired by Schofield’s selfless request.
Her hashtag became so popular that her local government, the New Brunswick legislature, decided to implement Becca Schofield Day. Every third Saturday of September is now devoted to people committing acts of kindness.
Schofield was ecstatic by the news.
Despite being in a dark place, Schofield is eternally grateful for everyone contributing to spreading kindness.
“To know that I get this day and it’s not just my day, it’s a day to celebrate the people that we can be and the people that we should be—it just warms my heart to know that we have a day like that where we can come together as a community,” Schofield shared.