Eight years ago, Chloe Sexton held her mother’s hand as her first sibling was born.
Charlotte was an unexpected gift for Chloe and their mother, Jenny Wren, of Lenow, Tennessee. Jenny had been fighting brain cancer for three years before Charlotte was born. Sadly, she lost her 11-year-long battle in April 2022, leaving now-28-year-old Chloe to finish raising her little sister.
After Jenny passed, Charlotte moved in with Chloe full time, which meant she had to change schools in the middle of the school year. As her 8th birthday approached in July, Chloe dutifully planned a party and sent out invitations to everyone in her class. All of the students and their parents knew about their mom passing away, yet Chloe only received one RSVP for the party.
“I sent the invites out early and I heard nothing back except from one person,” Chloe said. “It upset me that I couldn’t give her the birthday I wanted to.”
The frustrated big sister made a TikTok video that night.
“My little sister turns eight tomorrow, her birthday party is going to be this weekend,” she said in the video. “Our mom died of brain cancer 83 days ago and only one child from her class RSVPed. I haven’t even told her that, ’cause like why? Her whole class knew what happened.”
“It should be our mom,” she continued, holding back tears. “My mom should be doing this but my mom’s not here.”
Chloe’s TikTok video struck a nerve with every parent who’s ever been in her shoes. More than nine million people viewed the video, and over 30,000 people left comments of support, helpful ideas… and even offers. Total strangers started sending Chloe direct messages with offers to bring their kids, help decorate, and bring Charlotte birthday gifts.
“This was the first time I saw people put action behind their empathy,” Chloe said. “The overwhelming support made me feel like not just a face online, but that I mattered, and my story mattered to people.”
The very next day, Chloe shared an update video. Once again she held back tears, but this time they were tears of shock and joy!
Internet strangers bought every single item on Charlotte’s birthday gift wish list. Not only that, but moms showed up with armfuls of balloons, toys, streamers, and other decorations to deck out Chloe’s home for the party!
“I get to give her all of this,” Chloe says of the wish list. “Nothing can make such an incredibly hurtful situation all the way better, but moments like this make it so, so much more bearable.”
Four days later, the full power of this act of kindness was revealed. Not only did more than a dozen children attend Charlotte’s party, but they enjoyed tons of fun activities that strangers bent over backwards to provide. Gracie the Party Pony was trailered to the party all the way from Mississippi to give rides to all the kids. Local reptile group Kaden’s Kritters brought incredible reptiles and snakes for the kids to learn about and touch, and Mid South Jeeps showed up with a 30-strong Jeep parade just for Charlotte!
“She kept asking me ‘is this all for me?'” Chloe recalled. “There was so much excitement, her eyes were so big.”
Charlotte was showered with gifts and love, and Chloe was incredibly grateful for the help coming on the heels of such a difficult time in their lives.
“Charlotte did say to me ‘I think mommy would’ve loved today’ after the day was over,” Chloe said.
Chloe has now started a GoFundMe so they can travel to her mother’s favorite place in Hawaii to scatter her ashes.
This is such a beautiful story. We hope these sisters find some solace in the kindness of others!
Watch the video below to see all of the fun details of Charlotte’s party, and don’t forget to share.
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