The Short of It
A Canadian mom whose son has Asperger syndrome lamented on social media that no one had RSVPed to his 13th birthday party. She had no idea that the city of Peterborough and celebrities would rally to make Odin's special day the best and most memorable ever.
When "not one kid" bothered to respond to Melissa Camus' invitation to hang out and celebrate with her son Odin at a local bowling alley, the devastated mom took to Facebook to vent her frustrations:
"Some of you have seen me post about my son, Odin. His struggles with bullying, his difficulties with Aspergers. Well, today is his 13th birthday. And, unfortunately, not one kid rsvp'd to his birthday 'hang out' invite. :-( I'm really struggling with finding a way to make today awesome for him, when it will just be us celebrating."
She also asked friends to send wishes to Odin on his cell phone.
As Camus put plans in place to make the day as special as possible—she organized a "balloon avalanche" for the morning of his big day, decorated the house, made a dinner reservation at his favorite restaurant, and had presents and cheesecake for him—Canadian news and entertainment company PTBO was posting an article about the mom's dilemma.
"So let's give Odin a terrific birthday. Text him birthday wishes, and drop by Lakeview Bowl if you can," the post said.
Soon Ontario's sports teams were wishing Odin a happy birthday on Twitter, using the hashtag #OdinBirthday. Celebrities, like Elijah Wood and Molly Ringwald, sent wishes to the teen online. Carrie Underwood tweeted, "Heard about a sweet boy named Odin & his birthday. Really proud of Peterborough for making it special! Happy birthday, buddy! #odinbirthday."
Even Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, via his wife, wished the teen a "wonderful 13th birthday."
In addition to the stars who showed their support for the teen, plenty of strangers went out of their way to show up at the bowling alley and celebrate in person, some of them baring gifts and cards for Odin.
As for the 13-year-old, he felt pretty great about his big day. He told the Peterborough Examiner: "It's amazing how people care. I feel absolutely amazing. Now the bullies will have a second glance at me."
Monday morning, Odin and his mom appeared on Breakfast Television in Toronto on CITY-TV and were told the show is sending him on a trip to Halifax, where he will be made honorary captain of a Royal Canadian Navy ship for a day. Later that evening, the mom and son were on E-Talk on CTV. And that may not be the last of Odin's TV appearances. Sharna Horn has started a Facebook campaign to get him on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
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