300 strangers attend girl's birthday after mother's plea

Celebrating a special 10th birthday

SHAKOPEE, Minn. – When you're a kid, every year you look forward to celebrating a birthday. On Tuesday, Mackenzie Moretter turned 10. But days before the planned birthday party, all of the invited guests turned down her invitation.

"I was sad that no one was coming," Mackenzie said with pain in her eyes.

So her mom, Jenny Moretter posted a message on Facebook.

Jenny Moretter said she hoped at least 10 friends in her circle would attend the party and bring girls Mackenzie's age. But Mackenzie received so much more.

Vikings player Charles Johnson and his family attended, Elsa from Frozen left her castle to celebrate and hundreds of strangers spent the afternoon with the girl who was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Sotos Syndrome when she was 1.

Her dad, Matthew Moretter, says a tumor fused to her spine is how doctor's discovered her condition.

"It causes gigantism where kids grow at a faster pace. So Mackenzie is a lot taller than other classmates," he said. "Kids are friendly to her, but she doesn't have friends. No one calls and talks to her. I'll show up at her school and she will be playing alone."

But the young girl, who had a DJ at her party, wasn't alone Saturday.

The Mayor of Shakopee, Brad Tabke, proclaimed Saturday "Mackenzie Moretter Day" in the city. Members of the Shakopee Fire Department stopped by, allowing the kids to tour their fire truck. Sam's Club and Mr. Pigs Stuffed BBQ and Catering donated food beverages to serve 250. At least 300 attended.

"I have a hard time making friends in school, but thanks to all of you … my voice was heard," Mackenzie told the crowd. "I love you all."

From every corner, strangers came bearing presents for Mackenzie, who wore a blouse bearing the words "courage" and "kind."

Turns out, the soon to be 10-year-old gave everyone at her party a gift.

"Thank you for reminding us how we should treat each other every day," a spokesperson with the mayor's office told her.

A Go Fund Me account created for Mackenzie raised more than $2,100. Her family will donate some of that money to Sotos Syndrome research.


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