A Christmas gift came early this year for one family in North Carolina.
In response to 8-year-old Ryan’s letter to Santa about asking to have class bullies leave his twin sister, Amber, alone, her favorite band, Big Time Rush, gave the family a surprise visit.
“I think somebody up north might have gotten this already,” said Josh Elliott, Good Morning America news anchor referring to Ryan’s letter in the ABC video segment.
Elliott led Ryan and Amber and their mother, Karen Suffern, into an auditorium where members of Big Time Rush greeted them. The band gave the family a private concert as well as VIP tickets to its next concert.
“She is...such a sweet little girl ... the look on her face when Big Time Rush came out is priceless. I have tears in my eyes,” said Gina Sbarra-Ulrich, a commenter on the Good Morning America Facebook page. “So happy for this little girl and I hope that all the kids that are bullying her will please stop and I hope their parents realize how much it affects children. All children are different but should be embraced not ridiculed.”
Online, commenters praise Ryan for his selfless motives and desire to help his sister. While Elliott interviewed Ryan and Amber, Ryan said he wished the school bullies would pick on him and not his sister. Amber responded that he didn’t have to do that, and Ryan said, “Yes, I do.”
Tony Posnanski, a weight-loss motivator, who originally shared Ryan’s letter on CNN iReport, was happy to hear the outcome of the attention the boy’s letter has received.
“When a story goes viral, it is not one person who makes it happen. It is millions. Millions who take a story and find a piece of themselves in it,” Posnanski said on his Facebook page. “I am just happy I saw Karen's message. I am glad I submitted it to CNN/iReport instead of posting it on my page. I am glad that people on this page responded to it and glad that CNN made it a worldwide story. But I am happy that Karen was brave to want her story out. It is not easy to do ... but worthwhile. Her kids will have a better life from it. A lot of kids will.”