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article imageCanada's Justin Hines gaining online attention

By Emily Santos     Jul 19, 2010 in Entertainment
Canadians have begun an online rally to get Ontario's Justin Hines on The Oprah Show. After only a few days of Web protests, social networking pages have seen an increase of support for the artist.
Justin Hines, a Canadian singer-songwriter, has slowly become a household name after the release of his sophomore album Chasing Silver. Singles on the album have received regular rotation on stations like CMT.
Born with a joint condition known as Larsen Syndrome - a rare usually autosomal dominant congenital disorder that occurs in about every 1 in 100,000 people - Hines has been confined to a wheelchair.
In recent days online petitions have sprung up all over the web. Facebook, Twitter and GoPetition have seen a lot of support for the musician, gaining more than 100 followers in under a day.
The online petitions are expected to grow within the next few weeks. Speaking with fans of the artist, some have estimated the growth of the groups and petitions to exceed into the thousands.
Hines' story sparked international interest after he released the music video for "Say What You Will." In the video people were seen holding up personal and inspirational messages. The single became the number one most downloaded singer-songwriter track within 48 hours of its release, and the video became one of the most emailed on
The music also inspired a documentary about youth education in Africa. Hines has continuously been campaigning the "Say What You Will" initiative to help build schools in South Africa. The campaign seeks to raise funds towards the Stephen Leacock Foundation for Children, The Association for the Physically Disabled (Eastern Cape) and other charitable partners.
Fans are planning on reaching out to the Oprah Show once enough followers subscribe to the pages.
In response to the public outcry, Hines said he was overwhelmed.
"It's amazing to see the support people have given me. I hope I can share my story and message with the world one day," he said.
In November 2009, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would end her show in 2011 after a quarter-century on the air. Many hope Hines will get his chance to speak with the queen of chat-show broadcasts before then.
To support the campaign visit the Facebook page by clicking here.
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