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?”
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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.