Updated on March 25, 2015: 10:15 a.m. EDT
To celebrate his 13th birthday, Odin Camus' mom planned an extra-fun party, complete with bowling, balloons and his favorite food.
But Melissa Camus says her efforts were derailed when not a single one of her son’s classmates RSVP’d for the bash. The Petersborough, Ontario, mom says her son, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 5, “struggles with bullying” and has had “some difficulty making friends.”
In the end, however, the teen’s birthday celebration was bigger and better than either Odin or his mom could’ve imagined -- and it was all thanks to thousands of strangers on the Internet.
Melissa took to Facebook to invite people to attend her son’s party and to send him birthday wishes on his special day. Before long, the invitation had gone viral, with more than 5,800 people on Facebook showing their support.
The teen was soon deluged with messages of friendship and encouragement online.
— Lain family (@Lainfamily) March 22, 2015
— WilkinsCaricatures (@wlkscaricatures) March 20, 2015
— Ashley Mary Nunes (@Girl1der) March 20, 2015
Local news site PTBO learned of Odin’s story, and shared the teen’s plight in an article. The news site also offered to throw him a big birthday celebration.
Some famous folks, including singer Carrie Underwood, actor Elijah Wood and Canadian politician Justin Trudeau, even sent birthday wishes to the teen.
Heard about a sweet boy named Odin & his birthday. Really proud of Peterborough for making it special! Happy birthday, buddy! #odinbirthday
— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) March 21, 2015
Happy Birthday, Odin!
— Elijah Wood (@woodelijah) March 20, 2015
Wishing Odin a very happy 13th birthday today! Hope you have a great day. Bonne fête! #OdinBirthday
— Justin Trudeau, MP (@JustinTrudeau) March 20, 2015
Canadian sports teams like the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and the MLB's Toronto Blue Jays, also had some words of encouragement for Odin.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 20, 2015
Happy 13th Birthday to our pal, Odin from all of Leafs Nation! #OdinBirthday
Learn about Odin & help him celebrate → http://t.co/i4vVTuHz6F
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 20, 2015
— Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 20, 2015
According to Metro, PTBO made good on its promise to throw Odin a memorable party. The teen was reportedly brought to a bowling alley in a stretch limo on Friday night, and met by reporters, photographers and about 450 people who had shown up to honor his big day.
— PTBO_CANADA (@Ptbo_Canada) March 21, 2015
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) March 23, 2015
Odin's mom tweeted her thanks to all those who offered their support to her son. "As Odin says -- BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!" she wrote.