A year after a Maine teenager celebrated a lonely birthday — because no invited guests showed up for her party — a family member’s heartfelt request for birthday cards has gone viral.A devastating photo, taken last July, shows Hallee Sorenson sitting at a table in the bowling alley where the festivities were supposed to be held. Underneath Mylar balloons and dangling streamers, she is seen wearing a party hat and eating her birthday cake by herself.
“My cousin is a beautiful young woman who will always have the mind of a child,” Rebecca Lyn said in a Facebook post Tuesday. “So as you can imagine, she was heartbroken and beyond sad. She was hurt.”
With the post, Lyn hopes to rectify her cousin’s disappointment of last year by asking the public to “flood her mailbox with birthday cards from all over!”
As of Friday afternoon, the appeal had been shared more than 158,000 times.
“Hallee is funny, sweet, caring, smart, an athlete, a jigsaw puzzle champion, a wonderful student, and a best friend to all,” Lyn wrote. “She is also a person who just happens to have autism. She has never let that small detail define who she is as a person — which is why I refuse to use it as something to describe her.”
Sorenson’s birthday is in July, according to the post, though the date is not specified.
As the request spread across social media, several people inquired about sending gifts.
“That is incredibly sweet of all of you and my family is very appreciative,” Lyn said in an appended update. “That being said, gifts truly aren’t necessary. A nice card would be just fine!!! Thank you so much.”
Birthday cards can be sent to Hallee Sorenson at 34 Wellesley Way, Bangor, ME, 04401.