Every once in a while, I hear a story that really warms my heart.
You know, the kind of yarn that could easily turn into your favourite Hallmark Holiday movie.
That’s how I felt when P.E.I. native Jason Tremere told me about a book he had written about Becca Schofield. She’s the 17-year-old girl battling terminal brain cancer, who asked others to help her realize her bucket list in 2016.
At the time, the teenager from Riverview, N.B., wasn’t looking for cash donations, a Rolls Royce or an expensive trip around the world. She was asking people to perform acts of kindness in her honour and share them on social media with the hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo.
Fast forward to 2018, Tremere’s book, “#BeccaToldMeTo: Spreading kindness, one hashtag at a time" documents what happened when the world responded to her request.
Gathered from the first 10 weeks of the project, it’s a collection of social media quotes from people over the world who have shared their good deeds on Facebook.
The 1,066 deeds ranged from buying a coffee for a stranger and shovelling snow for a senior to supporting the humane society and sponsoring a young boy in Bangledesh.
In Moncton, where Tremere resides, the book has been selling off the shelves.
“This wave is still going on. We’re at 23,000 acts of kindness now,” says Tremere who will return to P.E.I. for a book signing on Sunday, Feb. 18, at Indigo Charlottetown, 465 University Ave., 2-4 p.m.
After enjoying success in New Brunswick, he’s looking forward to sharing “#BeccaToldMeTo: Spreading kindness, one hashtag at a time” with people in his home province.
“I’m a proud Islander and I’m excited about bringing the book and the story back home to share with family and friends.”
His interest in the story began in 2016.
Tremere noticed that people were doing acts of kindness on his Facebook feed around Christmas time.
“I wanted to find out what was going on so I went to her Facebook page,” says Tremere.
His research led him to write a 1600-word blog post. The family liked the story so much they invited him to come for a visit.
“The next month I was in their living room, sitting on the couch with Becca for three hours,” says Tremere.
In the weeks and months that followed, the book was created with full participation of the family with net proceeds being returned to them.
“I feel like part of her family.”
As for the current state of Becca’s health, her mother tells me she’s spending all of her time in bed.
“Becca is sleeping more and more. She is being kept comfortable and pain free. She is nearing the end of her life,” says Anne Schofield, during an Internet interview.
And while it is a time of sadness and reflection for the family, Anne is comforted by Becca’s contribution to the world.
“We are very proud of what she inspired in people. We believe that is a legacy that will last.”
Up close and personal with Jason Tremere
- Parents: Winston and Judy Tremere of Charlottetown.
- Interests: Computer science, philosophy, writing.
- Favourite meal: Steak fries and beer.
- Last book read: “On Writing” by Stephen King.
- Five things to take to a desert island: Hammock, beer, snacks, book, tablet.
- Website: Go to jasontremere.com.
Call in and win
The question is: Where does Jason Tremere reside?
The prize: A copy of “#BeccaToldMeTo: Spreading kindness, one hashtag at a time”.
Last week’s winner: Thane Mann won a Lennie Gallant CD.
To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.
Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at sally.cole@TheGuardian.pe.ca or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.