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People around the world help 7-year-old Wauwatosa boy with spina bifida celebrate his birthday

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Wauwatosa family put out a call to help celebrate the birthday of Theo, a 7-year-old boy with spina bifida.

Little did the family know the call would be answered from miles and even continents away.

“Theo loves dog,” says Melody Rensberger, Theo’s mom. “During the coronavirus, we were trying to think of something interesting to do for his birthday. I had the idea; I’m like ‘what if I put out a request to neighbors and friends to walk by so we can throw them a treat?’”

One by one, nearly 100 friends and their pets stopped by to wish Theo a happy birthday and receive a treat.

Theo was also visited by a dog named Pinky.

“When she took Pinky out of her purse, she told us that Pinky actually had spina bifida,” says Melody. “Theo really liked meeting another dog with spina bifida because he was born with spina bifida.”

It was a reminder to the family of the supportive community ready to help.

“It can often feel like a lonely journey,” says Melody. “So, I think for me, just kind of feeling like we’re not alone in this.”

While Theo and his sister Juniper don’t have a dog of their own, there is a list of criteria the future family dog would have to meet.

“My favorite dog is the black lab,” says Theo. “He’s going to be a puppy when I first get him.”

“He wants a black dog named Derba who will sleep in his bed and not be scared of lightening,” says Melody.

It was a reminder of hope that also gave Theo a birthday he’ll never forget.

“Kind of giving them the opportunity to be kind, and make a little boy’s day,” says Melody. “I think it really brought out the best of Milwaukee.”

That call was also answered from various part of the world with photos and messages coming from Canada, England, Germany and a number of U.S. states.

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