GREENSBORO, N.C. – Robin Williams not only played a medical student who used humor to help patients, but some believed Williams used that role in his everyday life.
In 2004, he helped grant a terminally-ill little girl's dying wish.
Jessica Cole was diagnosed with brain cancer at age of five. One of her last dying wishes was to meet Robin Williams. With the help of the Make-a-Wish foundation, Williams and the Cole family arranged for the little girl to meet her hero.
"Robin Williams was her hero," said Mark Cole, Jessica's father. "She was a huge fan and especially (of) Mrs. Doubtfire."
According to Jessica Cole's father, the original plan was for her to fly to California to be on a set with Robin Williams. Unfortunately, she was too weak to make the journey west.
"In 2004, it became apparent that there was nothing doctors could do to reverse the process with the tumor growing," said Cole.
"His office called and said he was coming the next day," said Cole.
Williams chartered a private plane and made a secret visit to Greensboro in October of 2004.
"She was a little disoriented at that point with extra fluid on her brain, and it was out of place for her also seeing Robin Williams walk into our home. She was confused when he first came in. Then he started his Mrs. Doubtfire imitation, and then she figured it out pretty quickly."
Williams spent the day playing cards and watching football with her.
Cole passed away December 14, 2004. Her father said Williams donated a redwood tree in his daughter's honor after her death.