Joining the ranks of celebrities honoring their autistic fans, Luke Bryan has recently come out in support of a very special fan of his own.
Peoplemagazine reports on Luke Bryan’s special surprise for one 4-year-old boy who has Asperger’s syndrome, a type of High Functioning Autism that may affect nearly 700,000 people according to Autism.org. People magazine tells the touching story about how it all began:
“The young fan, who has Asperger’s syndrome, attended the recent Luke Bryan concert in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his mom Marjorie. At the show he wore a T-shirt saying, “Luke Bryan Is One of the Pieces to My Puzzle,” a play on the autism mantra “Until All the Pieces Fit.”-Danielle Anderson/People magazine
According to the Huffington Post, 4-year-old Riley finds relief in listening to Luke Bryan’s music. During an interview with 107.7 WGNA Albany Country Radio, Riley’s mom Marjorie offered the following insight into what makes Luke Bryan so special to her young boy:
“When Riley pretends to be Luke, he is a whole other person. He’s not afraid or shy. He has confidence and feels free.”
After attending Luke Bryan’s concert in Saratoga Springs, Marjorie felt compelled to write a touching letter to document her son’s experience at the concert, which ended up in the hands of a producer at 107.7 WGNA. Here is an excerpt from that letter:
“On our way out of the show, Riley pulled me down and said ‘I didn’t know all the songs mommy. I need to learn all the songs.’ He just loves music. Sorry for such a long letter, but I just want Luke and all other artists to know that their music is a powerful thing and truly helps those with disabilities to express themselves and get through rough parts of their day.”
During the on-air interview with Marjorie and Riley, Luke Bryan was listening on the phone. He finally spoke up and told Riley that he had seen him at the concert. Bryan would also state that he is “very blessed in this business” and that he was inspired by Riley’s story. He would go on to say that he is “glad I got to finally talk to Riley.”
Luke Bryan joins the ranks amongst A-list celebrities who are coming out in support of autism and related research. In recent news, Justin Timberlake also recently serenaded a young autistic boy in honor of the boy’s birthday at one of his 20/20 Experience show.
Other celebrities who are notorious for showing support for individuals with autism and also have actively donated to research initiatives include funnyman Adam Sandler, comedienne Tina Fey, singers Toni Braxton and Celine Dion, and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.
[Photo credit: Huffington Post/Twitter]