Several thousand people are now following the daily life of a teenager who was five weeks ago diagnosed with a serious cancer.
17-year-old Héðinn Máni is sharing his life with the world on Snapchat and says he plans to deal with his illness using humor as his weapon.
Héðinn was born in 1999 and lives with his family in Vogar, between the capital region and Keflavík, on the Reykjanes peninsula. He has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on the mucosa membrane and has a malignant tumor in his head.
“It is naturally quite a shock, but I’m just going to try and live life in the now. Take one day at a time and be positive,” he told Vísir.
Like most young people, Héðinn has been using Snapchat to connect with friends and loved ones for several years and found it natural to talk openly about his illness over the last few weeks on the social media app—and before he knew it, his followers had multiplied into their thousands.
“I get questions from all sorts of people and they are mainly asking how I was diagnosed with the cancer. I answer them usually in My Story. I have also got a lot of help through Snapchat. From people my age who have gone through similar. I find it really good and take good support from it,” Héðinn says.
Héðinn is interested in moviemaking and says that Snapchat is in many ways like making a movie. He views it as making a short film every day. He says he is determined to deal with his illness with positivity and with humor as his weapon.
“Even so, it took me a while to process that I have this disease. But I have always been very positive. At difficult times, it is good to be positive. I am going to destroy this like a warrior.”
It is possible to follow Héðinn using Snapchat name heddimani.