It took just 48 hours and a viral video for a cancer patient to get a step closer to achieving his lifelong dream of meeting Selena Gomez.
Timothy Bobrovitsky, 22, has used TikTok to document his journey with stage 4 cancer. On Sunday, he posted a plea to fellow users on the platform: Help him reach the actor.
“I have Stage 4 cancer in my lungs and my leg and everywhere else. I really need your help to make my childhood dreams come true,” he said, describing himself as Gomez’s No. 1 fan. “One of my bucket list items since having cancer has always been to either meet Selena Gomez … even if she saw this video, I could die peacefully.”
By Monday, the wish had reached over 4 million people, including Gomez, who responded to Bobrovitsky on her TikTok and Instagram accounts. She posted a duet, or a video showing her own reaction side by side in split-screen format. In the text of the video, she wrote that he should directly message her.
Bobrovitsky, who was unavailable for an interview Tuesday, quickly replied online to Gomez, the founder of Rare Beauty.
Representatives for Gomez did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The viral exchange has underscored how TikTok’s engagement-driven algorithm can help remove barriers between fans and celebrities. A go-between is not necessarily needed to help someone connect with the star they love the most — all it takes is a boost from viewers.
Bobrovitsky has been a fan of Gomez for more than a decade, saying in his video that he grew up watching the Disney Channel show “Wizards of Waverly Place,” in which she starred as Alex Russo. (Gomez is reportedly set to reprise her role in a sequel pilot confirmed by Disney Branded Television last week.)
Since he was diagnosed a little more than a year ago with stage 4 synovial sarcoma, Bobrovitsky has taken to TikTok to share everything from “chemo mukbang” to the trial and error of finding suitable wigs and eyebrow products.
Now, whether he gets to meet Gomez in person is TBD. But he said he’s feeling hopeful regardless.
“I’m literally sweating, shaking and dying. I cannot believe this is real life,” Bobrovitsky said in his follow-up video, thanking viewers for making his original request go viral overnight. “My whole life, I’ve just tried to be noticed by her, and it’s happening all because of you guys.”