Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson shares heartfelt message with young girl who has Down Syndrome and loves Moana
When you have the celebrity clout and charisma of someone like Dwayne Johnson, it's easy to make a huge impact with a small gesture. In addition to this, it allows you to promote someone's story to far more people. With 13.2 million Twitter followers, a heartfelt gesture from the actor led many to see Jason Kneen's lovely message about his daughter, who has Down Syndrome.
The father-of-five started a Twitter thread about his youngest daughter, Rosie. "'My child has Down syndrome, what can I expect?' This. 100% this," he wrote along with a photo of Rosie smiling, following it up with more joyous photos from their lives.
These two initial tweets amassed nearly 100,000 likes, with a tremendous reaction from others online, so Jason went on to speak about he and his daughter's journey, whether it was their visits to the hospital or her obsession with the Disney film Moana.
"Rosie and I became thick as thieves over that time and watched 'Moana' together many times and EVERY SINGLE DAY — thanks @TheRock for teaching me all the songs — Rosie was so brave, and so strong."
Johnson, who was the voice actor behind the character Maui in the animation, saw the tweets and responded, adding: "Look at this lovely cookie. Stay strong Rosie! Uncle Maui loves ya. What can I saaaaayy except you're welcome."
Kneen was obviously delighted to see The Rock respond and help spread his uplifting message. Since their Twitter exchange, he has spoken about how overwhelming it was to receive so many positive messages from strangers, especially those who have recently discovered they were expecting a baby with Down Syndrome.
Then, he spoke about what it was like finding out that she had Down Syndrome on the day of her birth, and how he soon "realised that ANY child can be slow to talk; slow to walk; have learning difficulties, and ANY child can be brilliant and wonderful and amazing."
Speaking to the BBC, Jason detailed how his attitude towards the condition has changed over the years:
"We were told by doctors and nurses on the day of her birth... how her life would go. It was like her whole life had been mapped out in front of you. It was distressing, shocking and upsetting.
"[But] you can't predict how your child's life is going to be. You can't tell anyone what's going to happen. We just got on with it. She's amazing.
"We've been through some difficulties like anybody, but she makes up for it every day when she smiles at you like that and wants to watch Moana all the time."
Twitter users began to share their own experiences of having children with Down Syndrome as well, adding to the heartfelt 'Expect' trend he had started. "Expect more joy and hugs that will make your heart explode," one wrote, while another parent added: "Expect your life and your heart to open up in ways you'd never imagined."
Looks like both Jason and Rosie have it set - and it's amazing that Johnson helped to share their story!