When 18-year-old Josie Wheel of Coventry, England, turned to social media to help her sister Rosie, she was hoping to get a few replies. She never could have guessed she would get so much more!
Rosie, a 15-year-old who has profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), was given the perfect toy when she was only 2. Ever since then, she has taken her ladybug with her everywhere she goes, but over a decade ago, it was discontinued.
“We have to rely on finding them or buying them secondhand,” Josie explained. “We currently have around 15 in total but only two work. Rosie is getting more boisterous with them and due to how old they are they just aren’t holding up as long.”
It may seem like just a toy, but it’s so much more than that to Rosie.
“Rosie loves everything about her ladybug — it fulfills all her sensory needs as it’s tactile, has flashing lights, and sings songs,” Josie said. “Ladybug is her whole life, it goes on holiday with her, to hospital, she has one at school. It is the first thing she wants when she wakes up and the last thing she has before she goes to bed.”
Josie and Rosie have always been best friends, so it’s no surprise that Josie would go through so much effort to help out her little sis. She’s reached out for help on social media before, but she’s never gotten a response quite like this.
Within days, her posts on Facebook and Twitter blew up, garnering over 2 million views. Now they have people from all across the world searching for and even donating the unique toy to Rosie.
“We have really seen so much kindness,” Josie said. “I think there are about 50 on their way now but I don’t think we have had to pay for any, as people have also been messaging to offer to pay.”
Josie couldn’t be more grateful for the outpouring of love they’ve received, especially since it’s to help her sister.
“Rosie is literally my best friend,” she said. “I couldn’t do anything without her, so I had to do this for her.”
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