Once again, we want to collectively bear hug Chris Pratt after finding out that the Jurassic World star helped to raise over $70,000 for the treatment of a young boy fighting against brain cancer.
Pratt has found a new friend in 12-year-old Joe Henson, who was diagnosed in June of 2014 with medulloblastoma, a rapidly growing form of brain cancer. To make matters worse, Joe’s father was killed in a car accident three years prior to his diagnosis. You can imagine that it hasn’t been an easy few years for Joe and his mother, Angela.
Before Joe went into surgery, he reminded his mother of some advice his father had given him before he passed away: “Dad always taught me that fear isn’t real, it’s all in your head.”
Fortunately, Joe’s surgery was successful, but his fight with the destructive disease isn’t over. He has to return to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore once a month for chemotherapy treatments.
To help cover hospital bills, Angela’s friends Jay and Melanie Selway – friends of Pratt – began a GiveForward campaign called “Fear Isn’t Real: Helping Joe Henson.” Once the campaign was up and running, Jay asked Pratt to post the fundraiser on his social media, which Pratt timed perfectly, posting a message about the campaign two days before his summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy dropped in theaters.
I'd like to take a break from promoting this movie to promote something more important. Please read this touching… http://t.co/oFNOBal5mM
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) July 30, 2014
Resultantly, donations “just exploded,” Melanie tells Today.com. In February, the Selways added a twist to the campaign, offering t-shirts quoting Joe’s father’s sentiment. Pratt once again backed the campaign and encouraged followers to post pictures of themselves wearing the t-shirt with the hashtag #FearIsntReal.
To-date, Joe’s fundraiser has brought in over $70,000, and over 3,227 t-shirts have been sold.
Once again, Pratt shows us how celebrity influence and social media can be used to help improve the lives of others. Earlier last year, Pratt caught our attention when we found out he stole his costume from the Guardians of the Galaxy set so that he could wear it while visiting sick children stuck in the hospital.
Joe Henson’s struggle is not over, writes his mother. “He has lost the ability to do things that we all take for granted: Talking, swallowing, breathing on his own, holding up his head, sitting up, even moving the left side of his face.”
But the support of her friends, Pratt and the rest of the world who believe in Joe and the #FearIsntReal campaign have helped to bolster their courage.
“Knowing that kind souls, from my friends to Chris Pratt, rallying behind Joe is quite overwhelming. I will be forever grateful to everyone involved in getting Joe better.”
Check out some of the participants in the #FearIsntReal campaign…
— James T (@Mr_Cos1979) March 19, 2015
— pammers (@cinderellab4) April 15, 2015
— Courtney Runyon (@courtneyrunyon) April 16, 2015
THIS is why we love Chris Pratt! Spread the word to help support Joe’s treatment and boost the #FearIsntReal campaign!