Corona De Vries, 8, was bullied at school in his home of Queensland, Australia, because of his name. The young boy has the misfortune of sharing a name with the virus that caused a pandemic and killed thousands of people.
However, his luck turned when Hollywood legend Tom Hanks gifted him with one of his many typewriters. Hanks is famously a collector of typewriters, and he even owns several named Corona.
On April 6, the young fan sent a support letter to Tom and his wife Rita Wilson after the pair were infected with COVID-19. He wrote, “I heard on the news you and your wife had caught the coronavirus. Are you OK?”
He then mentioned the many challenges he faces because of his name. He continued, “I love my name but at school people call me the coronavirus. I get very sad and angry when people call me this.”
About two weeks later, the fan was in for an amazing surprise. His favorite actor had sent him a reply! “Dear Friend Corona. Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful! Thank you for being such a good friend ― friends make friends feel good when they are down.” The actor added how the boy was “the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown.”
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Hey folks. Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs. Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch. Bad news: My wife @ritawilson has won 6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points. But I have learned not to spread my Vegemite so thick. I travelled here with a typewriter, one I used to love. We are all in this together. Flatten the curve. Hanx
Alongside the letter Corona will probably keep for the rest of his life, Hanks sent him a vintage Corona typewriter machine, similar to the one he posted on his Instagram page. “I thought this typewriter would suit you… Ask a grown-up how it works. And use it to write me back.”
Hanks ended the letter by writing, “You got a friend in me!” which is the famous line and the tile of the theme song of “Toy Story.” That movie made Corona familiar with Tom Hanks and his work.