A Maine teen with autism has gone from having the worst birthday to the best, thanks to the support of strangers from around the world.
It started with a Facebook post that included a picture of 18-year-old Hallee Sorenson of Bangor sitting alone at her last birthday party. When none of her friends showed up to the party, she was devastated.
"It's just the worst feeling in the world," said her mother, Allyson Sorenson. "When you have a child like Hallee who doesn't understand, and is so desperately sad for the first time, it's just shattering."
This year, her family wanted to make sure she had a better birthday. Her cousin posted the heartbreaking photo of Hallee alone at her birthday party to Facebook, and wrote a post asking friends to send her birthday cards in the mail.
More than 150,000 shares on Facebook later and her family is starting to see the results.
"It's super overwhelming," said Allyson. "We are so grateful."
On Friday, Hallee received more than 20 birthday cards from across the country, several flower deliveries and messages from around the world.
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She was delighted and surprised to see so many people recognize her 19th birthday this year, which is on July 2.
"It's pretty great," she said.
"Hallee functions at a 6-year-old level, and I've told her that she's getting a lot of cards in the mail and she said 'why'" said Allyson Sorenson. "I told her 'it's because people love you, and they want you to have a happy birthday.'"
If you'd like to send a card to Sorenson, you can direct it here:
34 Wellesley Way
Bangor, ME 04401