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Monday, June 18, 2007

Do NOT send Shane Bernier a card!

I knew this would happen sooner or later: the "virus" hoax would turn out to be true! Not actually a virus hoax, but one of those "sick kid" emails. The usual scenario is that there is a child sick in hospital whose life will be immeasurably improved by your sending the email on to all your friends. This child, in almost every case, does not exist, except in the mind of the original email prankster and the gullible recipients of the mail. The only truth in the email may be an echo of the story of Craig Shergold (see later).

Well, this time the child was Shane Bernier, and the email was true! Shane wanted to top the record for the most birthday cards received and, contrary to my prediction in the above-quoted article, years of "wolf-crying" did NOT deter gazillions of well-wishers from getting into the spirit of the campaign.

Now, I have to be careful here, I have every sympathy for Shane and his family and wish them well in their fight against this horrible disease. But I am really not sure if they thought this through. They should perhaps have first talked to the family of Craig Shergold to see what it is they are getting themselves into. Craig was the original get-well-card-kid, whose campaign was launched in 1989. To this very day, three hundred and fifty million cards later, Craig, now a fully-recovered, healthy young man STILL receives countless get-well cards. The family were forced to move house, unable to halt the deluge of cards, which now go to a special post-office box number and get pulped on arrival. According to the Wikipedia article, the Guiness Book of Records is NOT taking any more record attempts in this category, (though it is not clear whether the birthday-card category is still up for grabs). The Shergold family has pleaded many times for people to stop sending cards - in vain it seems.

Shane Bernier's family limited the appeal to Shane's birthday on the 30th May 2007, and some sources suggest that he had received some 5.6 million cards by then. But the family could have courted disaster by fulfilling Shane's request - one site even suggests that Shane wanted to hit a figure of 350 million cards, which sounds suspiciously like the Craig Shergold record. Chain emails have a way of sticking around, evolving as they go, and this may be happening already. Details may change, but the address could stay the same and the family could be saddled with a burden for years to come that could approach the disease itself in its magnitude. What seemed like a nice idea at the time could turn into a curse like it did for the Shergold family.

Future-Phobia says - and I know I am out on a limb here - the appeal is OVER! Do Shane Bernier a favour and DON'T send him any cards. And we hope that when he recovers he will thank you.


Anonymous said...

You are an asshole..leave the kids dreams alone, do you not have anything else to do but ruin shit. JUNIOR HIGH CALLED THEY WANT THEIR DRAMA BACK

markowe said...

Flattering to think that Shane reads my blog, but I seriously doubt it. Doubt that I will "ruin" anything either. However, if the family get a few tons LESS cards over the coming 10 years, then I may have made at least some impression.

shane's mom said...

Shane mom

No we didnt really think true the situation all we wanted was to mack shane happy and we did he his doing alot better now we have recieved 5.6 millions and all he wanted was a couple of thousand i didnt know graig story and for sure should of read it first but now its to late .... a really appreciated all you guys did for him good or bad .... and we do a ppreciate all the people that help us put a stop to it not to be mean just that is birthday is pass

thank you