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Kindness from strangers helps Hatboro mom's special mission for 6-year-old's birthday

Hatboro girl receives hundreds of cards and gifts for unique birthday
Hatboro girl receives hundreds of cards and gifts for unique birthday 02:29

HATBORO, Pa. (CBS) -- A special birthday for a little girl in Hatboro who has a variety of medical complications. A mother's love has no boundaries and it turns out that people you don't know can also be loving and filled with kindness.

It's a unique kind of birthday for 6-year-old Aria Zanolli.

Zanolli has received hundreds maybe thousand of cards and gifts from strangers.

"It's amazing and it's really really heartwarming," mom Katie Jaskel said.

Aria has been struggling with a lot of serious medical problems and her mom wanted to do something special. So she posted on Facebook and the Nextdoor neighbor app asking for some birthday cards.

"It kept steamrolling into this huge thing," Jaskel said. "I'm crying in the post office. I didn't expect it to blow up the way that it did."

There are some hand-drawn pictures, a few gifts, and piles of cards.

The kindness of strangers makes a special birthday for a 6 year old little girl with some serious medical conditions. I’ll explain how #cbs3 at 5:30 #happybirthday #communityspirit Katie Lynne

Posted by Stephanie Stahl on Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Jaskel says Aria has never had a traditional birthday because she's been too sick having been born with a very rare genetic condition. Then she lost her hearing, developed kidney disease, a growth hormone deficiency, and now a brain malformation.

"She is luckily completely unfazed by it," Jaskel said. "All these diagnoses kept unfolding so that's all she's known. She's never known a normal healthy kid life."

Katie says Aria's resilience has helped her stay strong.

"You're mom up and you suck it up and deal with it in private," Jaskel said. "You cry and scream and do what you need to do."

Not knowing the future, making this 6th birthday special was important for Katie never imagining that the kindness of strangers would play such a big part.

"I feel like this is a small glimmer of hope that it's not so bad," Jaskel said.

Aria ended up having a chocolate ice cream cake. Katie says she's having a great day playing with her sisters and family and friends.

A nice break from all the doctor visits she's been having.

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