While it has its share of critics, social media can do some pretty decent things especially with the best of intentions. In this case, an Instagram account devoted to an elderly woman struggling with terminal cancer is getting very much attention from all over the world. Zach Belden, the woman’s great-grandson, posts pictures of his dear Grandma Betty on her account, showing everyone how love and joy can alleviate some of the pain associated with the big C. Grandma Betty now walks her daily journey accompanied by over 500,000 followers, and now she feels like a celebrity.
Hope Belden, Zach’s mom, recently shared how things all got started.
“Zachary came home from school one day and said, ‘Mom, I started grandma an Instagram account,” she said. Zach had intended the account for just close friends who personally know his grandmother, but things turned out quite differently. “The idea was to start an account for my friends who know Grandma Betty. And it turned out to be something everybody started to enjoy,” said Zach.
Zach started by posting pictures of Grandma Betty and her late husband not long after her cancer diagnosis. Nowadays, Betty checks her account regularly to see if she has new followers, something she looks forward to on a daily basis. Zach says that his grandma adores the idea and is always curious about how many new followers she has. “I’ve been here 80 years, maybe they’ll learn something good from me,” remarked Granma Betty in jest.
Hope says it brings all of them great joy, seeing her have something to look forward to. One of the viral videos uploaded on the account shows Grandma Betty dancing to the hit “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
Zach Belden is extremely glad he came up with the idea, which has been therapeutic for everyone involved as they deal with the inevitable. “I’m glad I get to share her story because I want to remember her forever,” he said.
Why don’t you put a smile on Grandma Betty’s face by clicking on her Instagram account here.
I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.