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Macy’s Clerks Make Woman’s Birthday Extra Special With ‘Small’ Gesture


A young woman’s 29th birthday became all the more special on Thursday thanks to a few sales associates at a Macy’s in Lake Grove, New York.

Lori Burke took her son and daughter, MaryEllen, both of whom have an extremely rare genetic disorder called Warburg Micro syndrome, shopping for MaryEllen’s birthday. An employee named Thea immediately approached the trio after noticing a birthday balloon attached to MaryEllen’s wheelchair. She then escorted them to the Lancome makeup section, where several other sales associates began grabbing merchandise as birthday gifts.

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Image courtesy of Lori Burke

Lori Burke told The Mighty that birthdays have always been a momentous occasion for the family. When her children were infants, she was told to not expect them to live past the age of 2. Now every birthday gets celebrated “in a big way.” Having others join in on the celebration only made the experience even sweeter.

Burke explained why the small moment was actually not-so-small on Facebook:

You see, whenever we are out in public, people normally don’t come towards us, they usually shy away. They usually give us a quick look and look away. We have been shopping many, many times in MaryEllen’s 29 years and no one has ever approached us with such excitement and joy! Thank you to your amazing employees for making this birthday one to never forget. It was a day that MaryEllen was noticed for just being a birthday girl, not a girl in a wheelchair that should be avoided. So, Thea and all the Lancome area girls at Lake Grove Macy’s, keep doing what you do because your joy is contagious! And thank you for making MaryEllen feel so special on her birthday.

“I can’t say enough about the lovely Macy’s associates,” Burke added in an email to The Mighty. “To go above and beyond and approach us, mere strangers, was something I will never forget. It was a small gesture for them, but so much more to us.”

Be sure to visit Burke’s blog, The Heartful Mom, for more stories about her family.