Months before his birthday, Camden Eubank began talking about having a huge balloon fight birthday party that kids his age could attend.
Thanks to a mother’s fear and with the help of a few hundred strangers, on July 6, Camden celebrated his tenth birthday, reports WDBJ.
When Traci Eubank, worried that only family would attend her son’s birthday party, posted an open invitation on Facebook, she never expected her story to go viral on social media.
According to his parents, Camden suffers from a speech delay known medically as Apraxia. They said Camden’s brain can’t always put the words together under social pressure, which makes it hard to make friends.
“Camden is home schooled because he has Apraxia, which is a speech issue,” Camden’s father Wayne Eubank said.
The heartwarming story of a mother attempting to fulfill her son’s birthday wish continued to spread on Facebook and eventually surfaced on the home page of Reddit.
Immediately, there was an immense outpouring of support known as a “Reddit Hug.”
Thousands commented, many shared it, and the post received a plethora of “upvotes.”
The page is filled with posts from people around the country wishing Camden a happy birthday and sharing stories about Apraxia.
On July 6, an influx of guests, water balloons, cake and lots of gifts arrived at Troutville Park in Virginia to surprise Camden for his birthday celebration.
About 300 people ended up showing at the event, including the Troutville Fire Department. Many Redditors drove more than four hours to attend.
“He is happy, the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time because he has people to play with,” Camden’s mom said.
One party guest was Von Lester, a twenty-something firefighter from Newport News.
“I saw this on Reddit and I just thought it would be a good time to come out and show Camden just because he does have that speech delay, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to like him,” Von Lester said.
Those who were too far to attend the party were eager to help out in other ways. Many spoke of donating to Camden’s GoFundMe page.
Following the post, the Eubank family received more than 200 gifts in a two-day period from all over the world. Camden’s father said packages showed up from Brazil, Germany, China, and Canada, among many others.
“I had left and went to the grocery store and then I came back and I looked in the front yard and there was a stack of packages like I couldn’t believe,” Wayne Eubank said.
Camden was gifted tickets to see Blake Shelton, a personalized video message from Sen. Mark Warner, and a box of toys from Mattel Toy Company.
“One guy, he said he had the means and he wanted to start him a college fund,” Wayne Eubank said. “What do you tell someone, ‘Yeah we appreciate it.’ That’s all you can say. It’s fantastic.”
“It makes any pains you’ve got go away, it’s a medicine in these sense, that feeling,” Wayne Eubank said.