Dwayne Johnson pays tribute to cancer-stricken fan
Dwayne Johnson has paid tribute to a young fan after the seven-year-old lost his battle with cancer last week (ends30Jul16).
Earlier this year (16), the action man invited Gabriel 'Tater' Singleton to join him on the set of the upcoming Baywatch remake to fulfil a lifelong dream of meeting his celebrity hero.
Johnson posted photos and videos on his Instagram account documenting their time together, and on Tuesday (02Aug16), the wrestler-turned-actor returned to the photo-sharing app to share the sad news his young friend had passed away.
In a lengthy post, Johnson wrote, "I don't know why this lil' 7yr old boy was chosen to battle cancer. Fighting it hard core daily... I believe everything happens for a reason - but sometimes it requires us to have faith to look deeper to know what they are. A few days ago Lil' Tater passed on, earned his angel wings and is no longer in pain.
"Our strength and love go out to Tater's mom, dad and sisters whom I had the privilege of spending time with on our set of Baywatch. As a dad, I'd do anything to put a smile on my girl's faces and Tater's mom and dad did everything they could to make this little boy smile. He sure did and it was beautiful. And we all smiled with him."
He continued, "We can't control what's around the corner, but we can ALWAYS control our effort and how we choose to LIVE and LOVE in this unpredictable, crazy and amazing thing we call life. Effort is our choice. #LiveLikeTater (after writing this post I'm counting my blessings and motivated to be productive today and run thru a wall like a maniac. Which would DEFINITELY make Tater laugh)".
When "Tater" met his idol in March (16), Johnson shared a video of himself presenting the fan with a Photoshopped poster, in which the lad was the star of his own Baywatch movie. Before handing the frame to him, Johnson held back tears while Tater stood there in awe.
In the accompanying caption, Johnson wrote, "When I told him 'we're all so inspired by you, especially me' and looked down at him and saw him lookin' up at me, nodding his head with those big eyes.. good Lord I almost lost it in front of him and the whole damn crew.
"Despite my almost tearing up like a baby and ruining my tough guy image, the greatest and I think most beautiful irony about Tater, is that this very special little boy has no idea just how much he inspires all of us around him. One day he will."
- Cover Media