BIG BEAR, Calif. -- Lori Fritsinger's home in Big Bear, California is stuffed with letters and packages for her 11-year-old autistic son Ryan.
Last month, Fritsinger had one request after reaching out to 6abc's sister station in Los Angeles, KABC: She asked for birthday cards for her son, who has trouble making friends.
After seeing the news report, viewers overwhelmingly responded. Hundreds of cards, letters and gifts poured in for Ryan from everywhere.
"Ryan is so happy now," Fritsinger said. "He has a sparkle in his eye."
The community also came together to give Ryan a birthday party, jam-packed with surprises. That included Star Wars stormtroopers and a free trip to Legoland.
There were also other gifts from complete strangers who drove in to attend Ryan's special day.
"We saw the news broadcast about Ryan being sad not having a lot of people show up to his birthday party so we drove from Palm Springs to be here today," said Dawn Jordan of Desert Hot Springs.
For a boy who once had no friends to play with, Ryan now has countless friends all over the world.
"This is the happiest I've ever seen him in three years," Ryan's mother said.
Autistic boy gets hundreds of cards, birthday party after mother's plea
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