A kid’s birthday is always a big deal, and when that kid faces challenges in his young life, a birthday becomes even more of an occasion to look forward to. However, when it comes to the birthday celebrations of kids who suffer from autism, children around them and even these children’s parents seem to back off.
In February, it happened in Osceola County, Florida, when friends did not show up for 6-year old Glenn Buratti’s birthday party and this time, 13-year old Odin Camus’ friends failed to show up for his birthday party in Ontario, Canada. Not all was lost though and in both cases, several people from the local community and even from all over the world came together to make these kids feel special.
In Glenn Buratti’s case, her mother Ashlee took to Facebook to share her worries when no one turned up for her son’s birthday. “I know this might be something silly to rant about, but my heart is breaking for my son. We invited his whole class (16 kids) over for his 6th birthday party today. Not one kid came,” she wrote.
After that, the community around her decided to do something about it. Soon enough, people were lining up at Ashlee’s door along with their kids to celebrate with Glenn, even though they did not know him. There were gifts and heartfelt wishes and before this barrage of surprising guests died out, cops and firefighters also joined the party! There were loads of amazing gifts for Glenn and the local Sheriff’s department even sent over a helicopter, a real one, to fly over Glenn’s house for 20 minutes!
Those celebrations lasted a week with police cars, a SWAT van, a canine unit and even fire trucks dropping by! Certainly, this was way better than any kid’s birthday ever and as Glenn’s mom Ashlee shared on Facebook, he did have a great time!
Odin Camus, who was preparing to celebrate his 13th birthday, was saddened to know that none of his friends had plans to turn up at the bowling alley for the party, had a similar experience. Suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, Odin had always had trouble making friends and his mom Melissa realized how awful he must have felt not having any of his friends join his birthday.
To make up for it, Melissa got onto Facebook and asked some local mothers from her hometown to text Odin a ‘Happy Birthday’ message on the new cellphone that was her birthday gift to him. What transpired after this surprised many!
A list of celebrities including Elijah Wood and Laureen Harper, the wife of the Prime Minister of Canada, tweeted their birthday wishes to Odin.
The Toronto Raptors also sent in a special tweet and labeled Odin their new friend.
As word spread, a trickle of texts soon turned into a storm with more than 5,000 birthday wishes delivered on Odin’s phone. Add to this at least 11,000 birthday tweets only in a few hours!
Moreover, Odin’s birthday at the bowling alley was celebrated in style too! The special birthday boy arrived in a stretch limo and accompanied by reporters and photographers, Odin walked into the location where hundreds of people were already waiting to celebrate!
These two stories, apart from showing the dreadful apathy some children have to face for no fault of their own, also shows how it can all turn into something special if everyone pitches in!
Featured image via thepeterboroughexaminer (Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI Agency)