Spina Bifida – when the spine does not fuse together properly and is left in two parts – is the most common birth defect in the United States. There is no known cause, and there is also no cure. In 2018, this two-year-old with the condition melted the internet’s hearts with a video of himself celebrating his first steps with his dog, Maggie.
Toddler With Spina Bifida Melts Hearts With His First Steps
Roman Dinkel was born with the condition Spina Bifida. Literally translated to “split spine”, meaning his spinal column didn’t close all the way while he was still in the womb. Before he was born, his doctors told his parents that it was highly likely that Roman would not be able to walk. Little Roman, however, continues to defy the odds every single day. (1)
In 2018, his parents shared what might be one of the most adorable videos of all time on his Instagram. The video features Roman walking for the first time using special braces and walking sticks. In the video, he celebrates his achievement with his best furry friend Maggie.
“Look Maggie! I’m walking Maggie!” he cries to her with excitement.
The video is so incredibly cute, it will soften the heart of the grumpiest of people and raise the spirits of anyone going through tough times. On a now closed GoFundMe page, Roman’s parents expressed their amazement of the incredible outpouring of love and support they received from people about the viral video.
“So many people have been reaching out to us wanting to bless Roman,” the page read. “This money will go towards extra medical expenses, medical equipment, and to Roman’s personal bank account. We would also like to donate to a portion of the proceeds to Spina Bifida of greater Kansas City.”
How He’s Doing Today
Now four years old, Roman is doing amazingly well. His parents describe him as an independent, spunky kid that makes everyone around him fall in love with him. His mother regularly updates his Instagram and Facebook pages to fill in his followers on how Roman is doing.
Now in kindergarten, Roman is as full of life and energy as ever. He never backs down from a challenge. On the page, his mother posts about his experiences and what he is learning at school. She also posts about the struggles, like finding winter boots that fit over his braces or some of Roman’s fears. On January 11, she posted this: