A photo of a teenage girl eating cake alone on her birthday is going viral for a bittersweet reason.
Rebecca Lyn shared the photo of her cousin, Hallee, who celebrated her 18th birthday alone.
“I’d like to tell you a little about her,” wrote Rebecca. “First off, she is a beautiful young woman -- both inside and out. She lights up a room with her smile. Hallee is funny, sweet, caring, smart, an athlete, a jigsaw puzzle champion, a wonderful student, and a best friend to all.”
Hallee also happens to have autism.
“She has never let that small detail define who she is as a person, which is why I refuse to use it as something to describe her,” wrote Rebecca.
Last year, Hallee planned a party at a bowling alley. She sent out invitations to all her friends and was looking forward to eating cake with them.
“Hallee sat at her party anxiously waiting for her friends to arrive so they could have fun but Hallee’s friends would never arrive. Not a single one,” wrote Rebecca.
Hallee was understandably hurt.
“My cousin is a beautiful young woman who will always have the mind of a child so as you can imagine, she was heartbroken and beyond sad,” wrote Rebecca.
Hallee will turn 19 in July. This year Rebecca has one wish for her.
“I would love to flood her mailbox with birthday cards, from all over! Hal loves getting mail – this would be the best birthday gift she could ask for.”