Katie Myers's photo of the boy with her son Kaden has gone viral because just look at it.
Katie Myers snapped this heartwarming photo last week at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach. She regularly takes her 18-month old son Kaden there to play, because he's in a wheelchair and can't do much at the local playground. She told ABC News,
"At home, he doesn't have much room to explore, so we're there almost every day because, to Kaden, it's like his playground. It's big and has smooth, concrete floors. It's his own accessible little paradise. We're there all the time, but we've never had an experience like this."
Usually, other kids don't interact much with Kaden because they're weirded out by his wheelchair. But this little boy, just a few years older than Kaden, showed maturity beyond his years and went out of his way to play with him just like he was any other kid. He even helped him play with this piece of interactive equipment that was hard for Kaden to reach from his chair.
Katie didn't get the boy's name, but she took this picture and posted it to Facebook with a heartfelt thank you to the young man. That post has quickly gone viral, because it's sweet enough to touch even the most jaded Internet-weary heart:
With almost 250,000 likes and more than 57,000 shares, it's clear that Facebook has gone Kaden-crazy. Now, his fans are trying to help his mom find the boy who brightened everyone's day. As for Katie, she doesn't have any grand plans if she indeed finds the kid:
"I would love to thank him. 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."
What a nice message. I'm not sure why she didn't tell it to the kid at the time instead of taking his picture when he wasn't looking and then putting it online, but I won't dwell on that part. It's harshing my sweetness buzz. The point is, we can all learn from that youngster. And the viral story is helping Katie on her mission to spread awareness of Kaden's condition.
Kaden suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a condition which causes his muscles to weaken over time. He was diagnosed at 7 months and now has to use a wheelchair. To learn more about SMA and to help find a cure, go to Kaden's Cure, a Facebook page made by Katie. As a bonus, there are more insanely cute pictures of Kaden on there, like this one.