Rebecca Schofield, who gained recognition in 2016 for encouraging people to perform acts of kindness, has passed away after her long battle with terminal brain cancer.
The family posted a letter on Schofield’s Facebook page early Sunday morning, saying that Becca had passed away at The Moncton Hospital Saturday evening with her family at her side. She was 18.
“If the love of a community actually had the medical power to cure childhood cancer, we believe Becca would have lived forever. While that wasn’t possible, we believe the countless acts of kindness Becca and her family have received from a community of caring people literally around the globe has at least helped soothe all of our souls,” read the letter.
The New Brunswick teen first made headlines in December of 2016 when she posted a message on her Facebook page called “Becca’s Battle with Butterscotch,” asking people to perform acts of kindness and post the good deeds to social media using the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo. This was around the time she received her terminal diagnoses.
“People have a natural need to do good and that is what I am doing, I am being that vessel to do good,” said Schofield at the time.
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The Facebook post was one item on a bucket list of things Schofield hoped to do. Other things on the list included spending a day surrounded by puppies, playing games with her family and eating her dad’s macaroni and cheese. She also wanted to get a tattoo and fly in a plane.
The movement quickly went viral, inspiring people around the world to be kind. People all the way in Australia headed her plea and began posting their acts of kindness to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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Since then, Becca’s journey has been chronicled on social media by her family, and she’s been regularly featured in news media as well.
In November, 2017, Schofield was diagnosed with a second tumour, and a Facebook post by her family stated that the coming Christmas may very well be her last. As a result, they rallied together to celebrate the holidays early and asked the public to send Christmas cards to the young advocate to lift her spirits.
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Schofield has received recognition on several occasions for sparking the global movement, including in February, 2017, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated her for her “bravery, volunteerism & inspiring commitment to community.”
The teen has also received several awards for her efforts, including the Canada 150 Senate Medal last year and a medal from Governor General Julie Payette this in January, 2018.
Schofield’s family concludes its statement by asking for privacy, and by reminding her followers of the selflessness of her movement. They hope that her legacy will live on through those who participated in #Beccatoldmeto continuing to make the world a better place “one act at a time.”
“Our daughter never meant the #Beccatoldmeto movement she inspired to be about her. Her legacy is not all the good that came our way. It is the thousands of acts of kindness that grew exponentially outward from our home in Riverview, spreading across North America and beyond.”
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The funeral will be held at Cobb’s Funeral Home, 330 Whitepine Road, Riverview, NB.