Well, this has been an adventure and a half. When we started out on Monday evening, all we wanted to do was to make it possible for my father to see The Winter Soldier and maybe to get a few superhero selfies to make him chuckle. In under 48 hours our mission was accomplished – the kind people at Marvel got in touch on Wednesday to say they’d organise for dad to watch the film at home when he gets back from hospital soon, and Mark Ruffalo was the first actor to tweet a picture for dad on Wednesday morning, with more following suit after that.* And then, suddenly everyone was interested, and… we kind of went viral.
I have to admit something right now: as a bit of perfectionist, it really bugs me that I can’t stay on Twitter all the time and thank each and every one of you who has tweeted Marvel and the actors for us, sent messages of love and support, and sent us your sweet pictures for dad. But please know that our family are so very grateful, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, even if I haven’t said so directly.
You have certainly succeeded in cheering us all up and keeping things positive over here. We have been truly overwhelmed with your support, and I think the reason people have loved it so much is because it is just the kind of thing that restores your faith in humanity. It’s been a bit like a massive flash mob where a whole bunch of strangers hug each other. Also, it’s so hard to know what to do for someone suffering from cancer, so it has been great to have something concrete to aim for and achieve.
Now that we’ve reached our goal, I think it’s time to stop hassling the Marvel actors for selfies (they have been so kind already in taking up our cause) and channel all the momentum that this campaign has generated into raising awareness for the signs of prostate cancer and men’s health in general. It is our family’s greatest wish now that some good might continue to come out of what is a pretty crappy situation. The biggest lesson we’ve learnt is that prostate cancer doesn’t always show up in blood tests, so men over a certain age should get checked out properly if they have any symptoms at all – check out the information, here. The lovely people at Prostate Cancer UK got involved with their photo today, below, and we’re hoping that the campaign can now turn its focus from our family to their work and the work of other cancer charities.
If Robert Downey Jr or any of the remaining Avengers post pictures, I’ll be looking out for them – and hey, if you’re reading this Robert, Iron Man is one of dad’s favourites! He even has his own ‘arc reactor’. But personally, I couldn’t be happier with how this has all turned out, so team #CapForStrat thank you, and you may officially stand down. You are a bunch of real life superheroes, and I hope that the goodwill from this campaign will keep channeling in the right direction. The reason dad has always loved comic heroes and why they are particularly relevant now in this situation is because they inspire hope, and encourage people to fight for the greater good. I think we’ve witnessed a bit of that child-like purity of spirit and good intentions over the past few days.
If you feel like sending more pictures for dad, please do, and I’ll add them to the beautiful collection to print out for him. What a fantastic couple of days! I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. In the words of Iron Man, ‘Alright. Hey. Alright. Good job, guys. Let’s just not come in tomorrow. Let’s just take a day. Have you ever tried shawarma?’
*When the press started being interested in our story on Thursday and Friday, everything started getting a bit crazy, so I thought I’d clarify the facts here a little more, for everyone’s information.