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Napoleon Dynamite returns for 12-year-old leukemia patient
Napoleon Dynamite
Although it's been 10 years since the world first saw Jon Heder play the role of Napoleon Dynamite, the actor proved to a 12-year-old girl that he hasn't lost it. - photo by YouTube screenshot

It's been 10 years since the world first saw Jon Heder play the role of Napoleon Dynamite, but the actor recently proved he hasn't lost his ability to slip into the awkward yet endearing role.

Twelve-year-old Mary Elizabeth Paris is an avid "Napoleon Dynamite" fan and is fighting for her life. Having been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April, Mary Elizabeth spent three of the past five months at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and filled much of that time watching Heder in his quirky role in her favorite movie.

"Mary Elizabeth just mentioned to one of her favorite nurses that she loved 'Napoleon Dynamite,'" Mary Elizabeth's mother, Mandi Paris, told

"And the next day, she brought (Mary Elizabeth) the movie. We have watched that movie probably 15 times."

The hospital staff also decorated Mary Elizabeth's room in gold, the color for childhood cancer awareness.

"I know I can't give up and I know God's always there for me," Mary Elizabeth told Atlanta Alive.

After Mary Elizabeth's story was featured on her local news station, viewers sent messages to Heder asking him to reach out to his No. 1 fan. But rather than simply writing a letter to her, Heder took on the role of Napoleon Dynamite and sent a video message to Mary Elizabeth's mother on Twitter, stating "All my prayers and wishes go to you in this difficult time. Rooting for you!"
In the video, posted Sept. 3, Heder shared encouragement from Napoleon.

"I just wanted to say good luck, hang in there, you're going to do awesome and just listen to your heart. That's pretty much all I do," Heder said in the video.

Mandi Paris expressed her appreciation for Heder on Twitter.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up for Mary Elizabeth and her family.