A True Story of Natalie McDonald, Harry Potter Fan that Died because of Leukemia

I was browsing through the internet about my favourite writer, JK Rowling when I stumbled across a site that discussed about Stephenie Meyer vs JK Rowling. The writer of the post said that Jo isn't a nice person. I didn't know where the writer's brain was since she only watched one interview of JK Rowling and even stated that she didn't know Rowling very well yet she still had a gut to post something like that. So, felt little offended, I scrolled down to read the responds and find twitards defend her and potterhead tried to be polite as they could when they stated the fact that JK Rowling is wonderful nice generous woman. 

I have done many researched about Jo since I discovered or learned about internet. Harry Potter has been-and will always- be my favourite book and movies. I had watched the first movie since it was on my television channel when I was in Elementary School but I didn't know that it was adapted from a book. When I entered Junior High School, my school's library have five of them so I was so happy that I could read it. When I entered Senior High School, I got a chance to surf through internet because beside my school I found  good internet cafe. 

The first thing I searched was Harry Potter and its writer, JK Rowling. I know a lot about her since she was at University studying English Literature without her parents' knowing, how many charity she had done, until she had an interview with Oprah about her success. I also know about Harry Potter fans, from Gryffindorks until Slytherwins and until the amusement park. Until now I still do research about her, who knows I can find some interesting news that I missed and maybe some new ones. This afternoon I searched through Google and found the website. I opened the site I stated above and saw a name that famous to Harry Potter fans but unfamiliar for me, Natalie McDonald, a big fans of Harry Potter. So curious, I tried to find her name and whatever her history was. The shocking truth was when I found out.

Harry-mania was already exploding in English-speaking countries. In Edinburgh, Rowling was hunkered down, refusing all media requests and most outside distractions, as she worked feverishly on the lengthy story that eventually became the 636-page Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

And in Toronto, nine-year-old Natalie McDonald was dying. "She was obsessed with the Harry Potter books," remembers family friend and political activist Annie Kidder. "They had been her respite from the hell of leukemia. And because I'm the sort of person who thinks there must be something I can do, I badgered Rowling's publishers in London, sending them a letter and an e-mail and a fax for her." 

Passed on by the publishers, the letter arrived at Rowling's Edinburgh home a day after the author had left for a holiday in Spain. "When I came back two weeks later and read it, I had a bad feeling I was too late," Rowling told Maclean's. "I tried to phone Annie but she wasn't in, so I e-mailed both Natalie and her mother, Valerie -- because Annie hadn't told Valerie what she had done." Rowling was right in her foreboding -- the e-mails were received the day after Natalie died on Aug. 3. 

"Jo's e-mail was beautiful," Kidder says. "She didn't patronize Natalie, or tell her everything was OK; she addressed her as a human being who was going through a hard time. She talked about her books and her characters and which ones she liked best." And most remarkably of all, Rowling freely shared the secrets of her fourth novel, details media and fans desperately sought for another 11 months. 

The story might have ended there, but Valerie McDonald wrote back, in thanks. "That letter touched deep," Rowling says slowly, trying to explain the esteem in which she holds Natalie's mother. "I just knew, reading it, that if we had been two mothers waiting for our kids at the school gate we'd have been friends." So a regular correspondence began, and an unexpected friendship -- "the one moment of light in this whole horrible thing," says Kidder -- was cemented last summer when McDonald, her husband, Bruce Stratton, and their two daughters travelled to Britain to meet Rowling. But even before that, the author had quietly commemorated the reader she never met. 

On page 159 of Goblet of Fire, the famous sorting hat of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sends first-year student Natalie McDonald -- the only real person named in any of Rowling's novels -- to Harry's own Gryffindor house. It was during that English visit last summer, reading the just-released Goblet of Fire to her daughters while riding on the London tube, that Valerie McDonald learned of Rowling's gesture. And on Rowling's first day in Canada, says the writer, she spent a "wonderful" afternoon at Niagara Falls with the McDonald family and Kidder. 

JK Rowling and Natalie's mother began a friendship, and Natalie was thus added to the books, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and sorted into Gryffindor (the house of bravery), as a tribute. Her mother kept the contents of the letter secret until her other two children finished reading The Deathly Hallows

Wonderful, isn't it? How kind and nice JK Rowling is. I'm glad she's my favourite person after my parents. I can't wait to read her next book. I'll wait.

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