The boy’s mother lost hope when only one of their guests replied to come to the party. On the day of the celebration, they were shocked when over 300 bikers showed up.
Maranda Karna, Thomas William Edward Karna’s mother, had 70 invitations sent out to attend her son’s tenth birthday party. Unfortunately, only one person said yes.
When Stephanie Lovejoy, Maranda’s best friend, heard about what happened, she decided to help by posting an event on Facebook, inviting bikers in the area to come to the party.
The 28-year-old volunteer of the Washington County Heroin Task Force explained that Thomas has autism and shared that he is fond of reading books and has always been fascinated with bikes and bikers.
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Lovejoy wrote, ‘I am making this post to invite all the bikers in the area to come and meet up and show him that he is not different and that he is loved just as much as everyone else.’
To their surprise, more than 300 bikers responded “yes” to the invitation.
Talking to ABC News, she said, “I never expected it to get this big. I thought maybe 20 would show up, at the most, but [it was] just... the huge outpouring [of] love and support from [the] bikers."
On the day of the party, the bikers paraded towards Thomas and greeted him a happy birthday. According to Lovejoy, they also gathered $1,100 for their charity from the bikers.
“People brought all kind of presents, cards and he’s got motorcycle jacket... and the group chapter brought their badges to give to him and made him [an] honoree member," shared Maranda’s best friend.
Maranda told ABC News how grateful they were for what the bikers did for Thomas, who was diagnosed with autism when he was only four years old.
She explained, "It's been hard on him as his autism affects him socially and emotionally. Also battling other health issues stemming from a birth defect. It's encouraging to see a community come together and show him the same thing that we try to teach him every day."
As for Thomas, he told WISN – an affiliate of ABC News in Wisconsin – that he felt like one of the most special people in the world.