A two-year-old born with a spinal birth defect is inspiring the world with his incredible journey. With limited mobility, the toddler learned how to use crutches for the first time for easier steps. He was so happy that he even had to share the major milestone with his dog! And the exciting moment, captured on video, is now melting hearts across the globe.
A Young Fighter
Roman Dinkel was a tough little guy even while still in the womb. He was diagnosed with spina bifida while his mom, Whitney Dinkel, was just 20 weeks pregnant. The condition occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. It causes various complications, including brain development problems and issues with walking. It was devastating news for Whitney and her husband, Adam. “We thought it was just the end of the world,” Whitney admitted. “We thought nothing but bad things, and that’s obviously not the way it is at all.”
At 25 weeks, doctors performed surgery on Roman in utero to assist with his condition. In the first year of the little boy’s life, he also underwent two brain surgeries. It was a difficult time for Whitney and Adam, who have two other kids. However, Roman’s great attitude gave them all hope.
Keeping It Positive
With a constant smile on his face, Roman took his health issues in stride. He first learned to walk with the help of a walker, with his family and physical therapist by his side. It’s truly Roman’s courageous and sweet spirit that has helped him and his family get through their hard days.
Roman’s spunky attitude amidst his trials pushed his parents to share his journey on through a Facebook page—Defying Odds: Roman’s Journey. At first, it was really a page to keep family and friends updated on his condition. As the page continued to grow, the family used it as an opportunity to raise awareness about spina bifida. Soon, however, little Roman’s popularity level would boost in a major way.
Roman On The Go
As he got older, Roman began experimenting with the use of forearm crutches as a walking tool. Finally, he learned to walk with them on his own, and Whitney was there to record each step. The family’s dog, Maggie, was also nearby, carefully walking in front of her young friend. “Look, Maggie, I’m walking!” Roman exclaimed.
Later, Whitney posted the video on Facebook. To her surprise, it soon went viral, with millions applauding the little boy for his latest milestone. “He’s so adorable and I’m happy he’s excited about learning something most of us take for granted every day! I cried typing this!” one user said. Whitney and Adam received many more messages like that, with people from all over inspired and moved by Roman’s journey. “To see that he influenced them in a positive way to change their mindset and change their view it’s just so heartwarming,” Whitney said. “It feels like he just gave hope to so many people with a seven-second clip.”
Watch Roman’s walk with his new crutches below!
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