At 7 months old, Katie Myers’s son, Kaden, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. The disease weakens Kaden’s muscles and now at the age of 1, Kaden needs a wheelchair to get around and struggles with certain movements.
Due to the disease, Myers has become used to people commenting on her son’s condition with remarks expressing pity and asking what is wrong with him. In such interactions, Myers feels that people see the disease rather than her son and his capabilities.
However, a recent interaction between her son and another boy has given Myers hope.
On a trip to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Kaden was having trouble playing with one of the interactive exhibits. This was when another boy came over and helped Kaden with the exhibit, playing with him as a friend.
Myers told HuffPost that she was particularly struck by the way the boy treated her son. “Many people … are nice to Kaden, but that doesn’t mean they see him. [Some] interactions begin with, ‘What’s wrong with him?’ ‘I feel so bad for him,'” she said. “The fact that he was accepted completely [by the boy] is really what impacted me. … He just treated him like he was normal. … He played with him and engaged him.”
Myers wishes that this were the way all people treated Kaden, and she was so moved that she wrote a note to the boy and posted it on Facebook with a picture of the boys playing. The note has gotten over 246,000 likes and more than 57,000 shares.
In the note, Myers wrote, “To the little boy at the science museum, I don’t know who you are, but thank you for being amazing. You didn’t ask what was wrong with him or why he couldn’t walk, you just saw him. … You will probably never see this but just by being you, you make this world better.”