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Sunday 21 September 2014

Little boy with 'no one to celebrate his birthday with' gets 1.6m Facebook friends - and rising

Heather Saul

Published 12/02/2014 | 20:37

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Mother Jennifer set up a Facebook page dedicated to wishing Colin a happy birthday after he told her he had no friends to invite to his party

A young boy who told his mother he had no one to celebrate his birthday with now has over 1.6m Facebook friends ready to wish him a happy birthday.

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Eleven-year-old Colin has a sensory processing disorder similar to Asperger's syndrome, which affects his social skills and has made it difficult for him to maintain friendships at school.

His mother Jennifer, from south-west Michigan, became determined to make her son's birthday special after he told her he had no friends to invite to a party on the day.

She reacted by setting up the Facebook page 'Colin is Eleven' on 2 February, which has already garnered over 1.6m likes in less than two weeks. On the page, she invites people to send good wishes to her son for his birthday on 9 March.

Her campaign has seen the page inundated by messages from well-wishers across the globe, kindergarten classes in Mexico creating cards for Colin and many sharing their own stories of growing up.

Jennifer has set up a PO box specifically for receiving cards and messages for her son's birthday.

In her first Facebook first post, she explained: "I am Colin's mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don't like him.

"So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn't a point because he has no friends.

She said her son eats his lunch alone in the school office every day because no one will let him sit with them, and "rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office."

"So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day."

Colin is still unaware of the huge social media campaign surrounding him, despite school children informing him they had seen him on TV. Jennifer has asked for people who may know her son to take extra care not to reveal the surprise.

"Several kids at school told him they saw him on the news, and he overheard a teacher saying to another teacher that she saw him on Facebook", she wrote. "Colin's dad and I were able to explain it away, but please be careful if you know Colin in real life. Thank you!"

Jennifer has promised to film Colin's reaction on his birthday.

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