By Christina Wood
A mum with terminal cancer was overwhelmed when she received more than 9,000 supportive messages on Twitter from kind strangers wishing her happy birthday.
Alexandra Brown discovered she had bowel cancer in December last year and after having surgery she thought she was on her way to recovery.
However, just a few weeks later she was handed the devastating news that her cancer is terminal.
So her son Darroch Brown took to Twitter and asked people to send his mother a message wishing her well for her 45th birthday in a bid to cheer her up.
His tweet said: “It pains me to say we just got the awful news that my mum’s cancer is terminal. For her birthday I wanted to show her how many people are wishing her well.
“So wherever you are, RTing, replying with a message (or video) saying happy birthday to Alex would make her year. Thank you.”
The 21-year-old only expected messages from his friends and colleagues but when he woke up the next day he was astounded to discover his tweet had 9.6K replies, 29K retweets and 39K likes from round the world.
Darroch, a games commentator from Brighton, East Sussex, immediately told his mum the exciting news and she was overwhelmed and insisted on sending a thank you message to all of the kind strangers.
He said: “I thought it would be nice to show her there are lots of people showing and wishing her well and that she isn’t alone in this.
“The replies from people have been really lovely. Some of them are from people going through the same thing and telling her not to give up.
“I wanted to get messages from my mates and people I work with. I had no idea this many people would reply. It has been very moving.
“After explaining to her what Twitter is and what was happening she loved it. She was very touched and she straight away wanted to make a video thanking everybody.”
Alexandra said: “It was very moving to see how many people were thinking of me and wishing me well.
“Because my cancer came on so quickly and as such a surprise, the one thing that has kept me going thus far has been the incredible support of all my friends and family; they even went so far as to throw me a surprise birthday party with pretty much everyone I knew!
“Now that I have not only the love of those around me, but also thousands of people all over the world, it has truly helped me to see that I won’t have to be alone through this time.”
In the video, she addressed her well wishers: “I just wanted to say thank you very much to everybody who has sent all of the amazing messages to say happy birthday to me and messages of support for Darroch.
“It is a very sad time because I’ve got cancer and I’m not going to get better but I might do.
“It is really nice to see how much everybody loves Darroch and I am very proud of him. He is fabulous. Keep sending messages because it means a lot to us.”
When Alexandra was first diagnosed, Darroch was away on business and as she didn’t want to worry him he wasn’t told until after he returned from his trip when she had already been operated on.
Darroch said: “It was very scary. She seemed to be recovering but a couple of weeks ago we got the news that it is actually terminal. It is all very shocking.
“We still don’t know exactly what that means at the moment. She is doing very well. She’s more active than she has been in a while.
“I wanted her to have something nice to look at on her birthday. I sent it the night before and I got lots of lovely and sweet messages from my friends and then I went to sleep.
“When I woke up it had completely exploded. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even get close to responding to all of them.
“She had a really lovely birthday and spent it with friends and family.”