Odin Camus is a boy from Peterborough, Ontario, who happens to have Aspergers syndrome and who celebrated his 13th birthday on Friday. But according to his mom, “due to his Aspergers, Odin has some difficulty making friends.” He also often finds himself the victim of school bullies, who, rather than understand his condition, choose to be cruel instead.
So when Odin sent an invitation to his bowling alley birthday party out to 15 people — not a single one got back to him.
If that had been the end of the story, this would have been a sad one indeed. But fortunately for Odin, his mother, Melissa Camus, made sure that the last chapter was far from written.
The first thing she did was create an “event” on Facebook, asking very sweetly if some fellow moms would help Odin “feel loved.”
Did the moms respond? To say they did would be the understatement of the century.
The invite to Odin’s birthday party quickly went viral, and when Odin showed up at his local bowling alley for what he thought would be a low key birthday “hang out,” hundreds of people, most of them complete strangers who wanted nothing but to make a kid feel good on his birthday, were there waiting for him.
Not only that, someone chartered Odin a limo, giving him the full star treatment.
“Wow, it’s amazing to know how much people care,” Odin declared as he arrived to cheers and applause outside Lakeview Bowl on March 20. “It makes me feel amazing. I got a taste of what celebrities feel like.”
But if you think the jam-packed birthday party is the Odin Camus story’s happy ending — you’re wrong again. There’s more. The birthday invite went worldwide, and Odin reportedly received more than 11,000 messages on Twitter wishing him a happy birthday.
The messages came from every corner of the globe.
Celebrities and politicians even got in on the uplifting act. Elijah Wood, best known as “Frodo” from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, sent a tweet, as did Justin Trudeau, member of parliament and leader of Canada’s Liberal Party.
Then there was this one, from Josh Donaldson and Aaron Sanchez, players for Canada’s only big league baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Honestly, Odin and I have been pretty much crying all day,” his mom, Melissa, told the Toronto Sun, as a limo carrying Odin Camus dropped the teenager off. “People are here because everyone knows a kid who struggles to fit in. You don’t have to be bummed out — no matter how down you feel, there’s always someone there. Always.”
[Image via Burlington News Twitter]