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Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.
Updated 12:30 p.m.
Sometimes, social media can be used for good.
Chris Betancourt, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, is an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” superfan. Danny DeVito’s Frank Reynolds is his favorite character, and meeting DeVito is an item on his bucket list.
Thanks to a YouTube video, a reddit post and a couple of tweets last weekend, the 21-year-old received an invitation to hang out with the cast during next season’s filming, and even appear on an episode of the show.
“We got in touch with someone from the ASiP team and they [are] hoping to get Chris on an episode,” Dillon Hill, Betancourt’s best friend, told Billy Penn.
It was October 2017 when Betancourt found out his leukemia had returned. He was given a year to live. He called Hill and said, “I’m afraid I won’t be able to experience the things I want to in life.” Hill decided to do something about it.
Hill dropped out of college, and the pals created a bucket list of things they wanted to do together before Betancourt died. They created a website called My Best Friend to document and share the project.
One of the list items was getting matching tattoos — neither of the young men had one yet — and on Jan. 6 of this year, they did it.
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va4aCkdQ13k” /]
What was the tattoo of? A now-poignant quote from DeVito’s “Always Sunny” character:
“I don’t know how many years on the earth I have left, but I”m gonna get real weird with it.”
— Frank Reynolds
Betancourt posted a photo of his ink on the IASiP subreddit — under the heading of another Frank Reynolds saying “When I’m dead, just throw me in the trash” — and got a hugely positive response from the community.
Some commenters helped draw attention to the Be The Match bone marrow registry, which can provide leukemia patients with live-saving transfusions — if they find a matching donor. (Betancourt is part of the program and is actively looking for a donor.)
Other commenters helped spread the word about Betancourt’s desire to meet Danny DeVito via other social media platforms.
And one of those pleas — by way of Twitter — actually made its way to Rob McElhenny, the Philly native who co-founded and stars as Mac in “Always Sunny.”
McElhenny tweeted that he would reach out, and via the My Best Friend Twitter account, @onelistonelife, a line of communication was opened.
A day later, Betancourt put up a celebratory post in the IASiP reddit: “Thank you!” he wrote. “You guys have done it!!!”
Like many fans who watched the connection play out over social media, the person whose tweet McElhenny picked up was thrilled with the outcome.
“Sunny is a show about the most wretched people you could ever meet, played by really wonderful people,” she tweeted. “I didn’t think I could love them more.”
If you want to help Betancourt, the My Best Friend website has ways to do it:
- Sign up for recurring contributions via Patreon
- Make a one-time donation
- Share the story to get more people involved
- Sign up for the Be The Match bone marrow registry (it only takes a few minutes)