In most ways, Kaden Myers is just like most one year olds— “he is very curious and… wants to know how everything works.”
But Kaden was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a motor neuron disease that affects one in 6,000 infants and disturbs the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord.
“My dream is for Kaden to grow up in a world where he is seen before his wheelchair,” she told SheKnows.
And she was able to experience that first hand last week during a trip to the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach, Florida.
There, she witnessed another boy’s interaction with her son. He wasn’t staring, he wasn’t asking questions. He was simply playing with Kaden like he would play with any other child— wheelchair or not.
To the little boy at the science museum, I don't know who you are, but thank you for being amazing. You let my son play…
Along with it she writes:
“To the little boy at the science museum, I don’t know who you are, but thank you for being amazing. You let my son play and engage with you. You helped him pick up balls from the floor when you saw that he could not. You didn’t ask what was wrong with him or why he couldn’t walk, you just saw him.
Kaden is a lot like you, he is very curious and wildly smart. He wants to know how everything works. Thank you for helping him turn the lever when you noticed he was too weak to do it himself. You will probably never see this but just by being you, you make this world better.”
The mystery boy may never read her Facebook post but hundreds of thousands of others did— thus far receiving over 225,000 likes and 50,000 shares. And that is encouraging for Katie, who hopes that her experience will raise awareness about SMA.
Half of the babies that are diagnosed with SMA don’t live to see their second birthday, but Kaden’s parents are advocating for a cure so that their boy and the others like him can grow up to lead long and fulfilling lives.
“[He] is one of the most independent and capable 1-year-olds on earth,” Katiesaid. “He is a daredevil who wants to try everything, and we will do anything to make that possible for him.”