#RileyStrong. It’s a hashtag that carries a lot of meaning to anyone familiar with Riley Morris, an RTVF student here at ETSU.
Known for being an outgoing, very involved and strong-willed person, Morris has never let a busy schedule get in his way. Recently, however, Morris had to put his hard work aside when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Morris was told by doctors at Duke University that this tumor was inoperable malignant, which means that the only way to fight its growth is through the use of chemotherapy. Yet, he won’t be taking on this fight alone.
“#RileyStrong is a way for us to show support for Riley and show that we care,” said Britney Rochette, a fellow RTVF student and friend. “It shows that his second home will always support him and be there for him.”
Faculty and students in the RTVF and journalism departments are voicing their support through the hashtag as they hope to continue to spread awareness of Morris’ fight.
“Riley is one of the nicest students you will ever meet,” said Candy Bryant, multimedia specialist and RTVF equipment manager in Warf-Pickel Hall. “He is loved by our department. We wanted to show Riley how much we love, support and believe in him. We miss him very, very much, and we look forward to when he can come back.”
The Department of Media and Communication shared a Facebook video on Feb. 13 to share love for Morris and his story. Students and faculty from the campus shared photos and videos with #RileyStrong signs and words of encouragement for Riley.
“We’re thinking about you every day and really pulling for you,” said Mary Alice Basconi, department lecturer, in the video to Morris. “We know you can do this.”
Those wanting to send supportive words to Morris or keep up with his journey can reach out to him and his family through Facebook by using the hashtag.
“If we can do anything for you, please let us know,” said Stephen Marshall, department chair, in the video. “We love you. We love all our students. That’s what brings us to work everyday. … We know you’re #RileyStrong, but if we can help you in anyway possible, please don’t hesitate to ask.”