(YouTube Screenshot: Shannon McKarney, @trappedatmydesk/Twitter)
We hear the story way too often: Young person diagnosed with cancer. Young person dies.
When Shannon McKarney learned about the story of Amanda, it was too late. Amanda, a young woman from McKarney's home of Ottawa, Canada, had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and it was over so quickly – a few months – that calling it a battle doesn't ring true. Whatever conflict there was, it was decided long before the diagnosis.
McKarney, a blogger and social media consultant, learned the heartbreaking story from Amanda's Twitter account. She was so affected by following the story – from the common diary of work and trying to find one's place, to the diagnosis and ultimate goodbye – that she compiled a collection of Amanda's tweets into a slideshow video. She explained why on her blog:
"I never met Amanda. I didn't even follow her until it was too late. Which teaches me: Pay more attention.
I debated whether to make this video, and debated more whether to post it. It's not my story to tell, and I don't know if Amanda would have wanted it told this way. But ultimately, I've chosen to publish it as a tribute to her, and a reminder to all of us: sometime, we will leave it behind."
Maybe it's because we know the ending, but you can feel the emotions with her – the dread, confusion and acceptance. And the lack of details seems to give her story to all of us – to not just remember it as something that happened to a young woman in Canada in 2013, but a timeless reminder in 140-character pulses to really live.
Here's Shannon McKarney's video slideshow of Amanda's tweets. (Caution: There's an f-swear at 2:18–2:25.)