Becca Schofield, N.B. teen who inspired #BeccaToldMeTo campaign, has died
Family posted statement to Facebook saying 18-year-old died Saturday after fight with brain cancer
Becca Schofield, the Riverview, N.B., teen whose campaign to spread kindness became a global movement, has died at the age of 18.
Her family confirmed that Schofield died Saturday night after a battle with brain cancer.
She became internationally known after she asked people on social media to do something kind for someone else. That request sparked the #BeccaToldMeTo campaign.
She inspired the movement after finding out her disease was terminal in December 2016.
In an interview last February, Schofield told CBC she had received responses to her campaign from as far away as Spain, Japan and Australia.
The movement even attracted the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took note of Becca's kindness in a message on Twitter.
It’s my pleasure to recognize Rebecca Schofield for her bravery, volunteerism & inspiring commitment to community. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beccatoldmeto?src=hash">#Beccatoldmeto</a> <a href="https://t.co/WPSlfrDKJV">pic.twitter.com/WPSlfrDKJV</a>—@JustinTrudeau
In a statement posted to her Facebook page, her father, Darren, said she passed away at the Moncton Hospital with family by her side.
He thanked those who participated in her campaign for giving her "strength and courage throughout her journey."
"You gave her the profound blessing of knowing in her too short life that she had made a difference," he wrote.
"You gave her hope that all the good and the bad of the past three years had a meaning, even at times when that was hard to see. Our whole family has been lifted by your love, and we will continue to feel you holding us up in the hard journey ahead."
While the campaign may have propelled Becca to international fame, Darren Schofield said she never intended #BeccaToldMeTo 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," he wrote.
"We pray #Beccatoldmeto will live on. Keep her dream alive, and our beloved Becca will live forever. Be kind."
Her family is asking for privacy to allow them time to grieve.
'It touched the world'
Ann Seamans, the mayor of Becca's hometown of Riverview, N.B., said her campaign brought the community together.
There are #BeccaToldMeToo signs throughout the town, and it's hard to go anywhere without running into someone doing something kind, she said.
"It's not very often that you can go in somewhere and not see somebody doing a good deed," she said.
Seamans said she thinks the campaign inspired a wave of kindness not only in her town but across the country and maybe even the globe.
"We knew as each person was doing it and it made you more encouraged to do your share and make people happy," she said.
"It touched our town, it touched our province, it touched the world."
Schofield recently graduated from Riverview High School.
In a statement, Anglophone East School District, which oversees the school, said it has implemented its "crisis response protocol' to support students and staff.
"Anglophone East School District staff were saddened to hear of the passing of Rebecca Schofield," the statement says.
"A recent graduate of Riverview High School, Becca influenced people both locally and internationally with her #beccatoldmeto social media campaign that inspired people to perform random acts of kindness."
Condolences pour in
News of Becca's death prompted many messages of condolences to her family on social media Sunday morning.
In a Facebook post, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said Becca was an inspiration to thousands around the world and that her impact will continue to be felt through the #BeccaToldMeTo campaign.
Moncton mayor Dawn Arnold also reacted to news of Becca's passing on Facebook Sunday morning with a message about the impact of her movement.
"May we all keep this incredible young woman's spirit alive, every day, in everything that we do," she wrote.
Riverview MLA Bruce Fitch released a statement on Twitter as well that was shared by Blaine Higgs, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick.