2-year-old boy’s reaction to wheelchair ad goes viral

2-year-old Oliver's reaction to Target ad that showed boy in a wheelchair.

Pheonix, USA — A shopping trip to a local Target store became an unexpected emotional encounter for a mother and son.

In her viral Facebook post, Demi Garza-Pena told how something caught young Oliver’s attention upon entering the boy’s clothing department. It wasn’t an eye-catching item that made the boy intrigued, though. It was something much more valuable.

Above the clothing rack was an advertisement for kids’ graphic tees. In it was a boy like him: smiling while sitting in a wheelchair.

The 2-year-old boy was born with caudal regression syndrome, a disorder that impairs development in the lower half of the body. Ever since then, Oliver has used a wheelchair to get around.

After seeing his son in awe of the ad, Garza-Pena snapped a photo of the moment and shared it on Facebook. The photo has been shared for more than 33,000 times.

Thank you Target! ??? Today Oliver stopped me dead in his tracks and turned back around to see this picture that he…

Posted by Ollie's World on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

“It meant a lot to me as a parent, to see my child look at somebody and feel there are no differences,” said Garza-Pena. “Every parent never wants their child to be left out and that is often the case in advertisements. That day, he was not left out. He was represented.”

Furthermore, Garza-Pena’s photo was shared frequently enough that it reached the attention of Colton Robinson – the boy featured in the Target ad.

The 10-year-old’s mom, Ashley, said that their family was pleasantly surprised to learn of Oliver’s reaction to the ad. 

“You could tell he was really connecting with it, which really means a lot to us that my son can, you know, be like a role model to him,” she said. “Colton thought it was adorable to have a little kid looking up to him. He’s never really had that before.”

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