The beautiful story behind this photo of a young boy in Target

Yahoo News Staff
·3-min read

A photo of a wheelchair-bound toddler in Target has gone viral and melted the hearts of thousands.

Ollie Garza-Pena, 2, from the US state of Arizona, was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome and has to get around in a wheelchair.

And recently while he was in Target, he “stopped dead in his tracks” after spotting an advertisement, his mum Demi wrote on Facebook.

She shared a photo of Ollie staring at an ad of a boy in a wheelchair in the boy’s clothing section.

“He recognised another boy like him, smiling and laughing on a display at Target,” she wrote.

“Oliver sees kids every day, but he never gets to see kids like him. This was amazing. I am so happy that other kids that pass through here with their parents will see this.”

Ollie Garza-Pena, 2, sits in a wheelchair in Target. He's looking at an advertisement featuring a boy also in a wheelchair.
Ollie Garza-Pena, 2, stares at the ad in Target. Source: Facebook/ Ollie's World

Ms Garza-Pena added while focusing on diversity is important, people with disabilities also need to be acknowledged.

She told local news station KNXV it was a “beautiful moment” to witness.

‘Ollie can do anything’

Ashley Robinson, the mum of the boy in the advertisement, wrote in the Facebook comments, “tell Ollie he can do anything he puts his mind to”.

She also told CBS Boston as soon as she saw Ollie admiring the photo of her son, whose name is Colton, she was brought to tears.

“I think it’s so important for representation of all sorts of disabilities and all sorts of different cultures and people,” Ms Robinson told the station.

“It’s important because people want to relate to someone.”

Colton added, “it’s really cool he looks up to me”.

Ollie Garza-Pena, 2, is pictured in a swing.
Ollie was born with a disorder which affects his spine. Source: Facebook/ Ollie's World

Others on Facebook wrote about their joy in little Ollie’s reaction.

“The expression on your little man’s face is priceless. Absolutely beautiful,” one woman wrote.

Another said the photo was “adorable”.

“That is so wonderful and this picture of your cutie made me cry happy tears,” another woman wrote.

Luca Bakemeier, the director of the Target store where Ollie was photographed, told the station “it’s what we live for”.

He added, “we love to see that kind of backing and see that support”.

According to the US National Library of Medicine, Ollie’s condition is a “disorder that impairs the development of the lower half of the body”.

The lower part of the spine is “frequently misshapen or missing” – it can also lead to issues with kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract.

According to a GoFundMe page, Ollie was born at 29 weeks and is “permanently disabled”.

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