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Tom Hanks Gives Fitting Gift to Bullied Boy 'Corona'

Corona typewriter was with actor through his coronavirus battle
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2020 11:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not easy having the name Corona in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Just ask 8-year-old Corona DeVries, who became the target of verbal attacks from bullies. The boy from Queensland, Australia, was feeling so down that he decided to write to someone else he knew was having a hard time: Tom Hanks. Corona had heard that the Toy Story star had fallen ill with the virus in Australia, along with his wife, Rita Wilson, per 9News. "Are you ok?" he wrote in a letter. Corona is likely feeling better now that he's received a response. "Thank you for being such a good friend. Friends make friends feel good when they are down," Hanks wrote in typed letter, recently delivered alongside a vintage Corona brand typewriter, one of Hanks' prized possessions.

It was the same machine Hanks had taken into isolation ward at Gold Coast University Hospital, per 9News. It also appeared in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. "I thought this typewriter would suit you," Hanks wrote from Santa Monica, Calif. "Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back." In Corona's view, the typewriter is "awesome … because it's so old it must have belonged to someone before they gave it to Tom Hanks." The actor wrote that the boy was "the only person I've ever known to have the name Corona—like the ring around the sun, a crown," per Reuters. Hanks added a familiar, handwritten message at the bottom of the note. "You got a friend in ME!" (Hanks and Wilson hope to assist in developing a coronavirus vaccine.)

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