After a photo of her son playing in his wheelchair with another child went viral, a Florida mom says she would just like to find the other boy in the photo and thank him for being kind to her son.
Katie Myers posted the photo to Facebook last week. In it her 18-month-old son, Kaden, who is in a wheelchair, is seen playing with an older boy at a West Palm Beach area science center.
“The point, honestly, wasn’t to find him,” Myers recently told WPBF News, speaking about the other boy in the photo. “The point was to show a different side of disability and for people to really understand that people, despite disability, are people first. I think that’s the main reason why it’s gone viral.”
Kaden was diagnosed with spinal muscle atrophy, or SMA, at 7 months old. SMA is a genetic motor neuron disease that causes muscles to progressively weaken. There is no known cure and the disease is the leading genetic cause of death for infants, according to SheKnows.
Myers posted the photo to the Facebook page, “Kaden's Cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” because she wanted to thank the unidentified boy in some small way. But she never thought the message might actually reach him.
“To the little boy at the science museum, I don't know who you are, but thank you for being amazing,” Myers wrote in the post accompanying the picture. “You let my son play and engage with you. You helped him pick up balls from the floor when you saw that he could not. 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."
But as the picture and its story continue to circulate on the Internet, the chances get better that she might get to personally thank the boy.
Since Myers posted the photo on Aug. 13, it has been shared over 54,000 times, been “liked” over 235,000 times, and drawn more than 4,000 comments.
An in-person meeting would be just fine, Myers told ABC News.
"I would love to thank him,” she said. “I would just like this child to know how he’s impacting the world just by being kind. Also, I'd love his parents to know they have an amazing child and how he’s engaging and treating everyone the same.”
Kaden’s interaction at the science center was a glimpse into the world she would like to see for her son, Myers told SheKnows.
“My dream is for Kaden to grow up in a world where he is seen before his wheelchair,” she said. “He is not confined to a wheelchair, he is mobilized by one and is one of the most independent and capable 1-year-olds on earth.
"He is a daredevil who wants to try everything, and we will do anything to make that possible for him.”
Photo Credit: Facebook: Kaden's Cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy