The package may have been delivered by the U.S.P.S. instead of an owl -- but for its recipient, it was nothing short of magical.
A 9-year-old boy named Gabe, who suffers from an autoimmune disease on the PANDAS spectrum, received a box full of goodies from Universal Orlando's Wizarding World Of Harry Potter on Thursday. It was a gift from Redditor TheAdster, who wasn't aware of the boy's medical condition, but knew the boy's mother via the social sharing site.
It all started nine days ago, with a discussion of the novelty shops at Orlando's Potter-themed park. Gabe's mother, who goes by pandas_mom , said her family found the stores too small and crowded on a recent trip to Universal -- so TheAdster offered to send souvenirs, including the chocolate frogs, Gabe had wanted.
After receiving the package, pandas_mom posted photos of Gabe's reaction to Reddit:
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I cannot say how much getting this box today meant to my son. He has had a really difficult couple of months with his disease. His immune system is depressed, he had a seizure last month, his other symptoms have him miserable and angry, unable to make it through a day without tears and frustrations. It breaks our hearts. Today was especially difficult. My husband has been in the hospital for the last couple days, and really ill for days before that, and the loss of routine was hard on him. ... So to go on a late night run to the mailbox, and having the fun and suprise of a package addressed from "HOGWARTS SCHOOL" I just can't tell you. He grinned from ear to ear. ... You are my hero tonight, /u/TheAdster !
As the story and photos started making waves, other Redditors pitched in to take TheAdster's generosity one big step further, starting a fundraising page for Gabe under the name Gabe's Army.
For his part, TheAdster explains, "Sometimes in life things are all about timing -- when to say something, when not to say something, when to do something, etc. and when things aren't going so well sometimes it just takes a small notch of positivity to swing momentum the other way...."