WATCH: Determined 2-Year-Old With Spina Bifida Takes First Steps Toward Family Dog

spina bifida

During Whitney Dinkel’s 20-week ultrasound, she was given news that no parent wants to hear.

Her baby boy, Roman, was diagnosed with the worst of four types of spina bifida, known as myelomeningocele. The NHS describes the condition as one that develops when “a baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t develop properly in the womb, causing a gap in the spine.”


Though Roman was operated on while still in the womb to increase his chances of walking, there was still a very high likelihood that he would never be able to walk.

But this little guy’s resilience and his parents’ encouragement have proven to make all the difference in the now 2-year-old’s ability to defy the odds by putting one foot in front of the other with his crutches.


“I had to let him fall a few times so he’d know I wouldn’t be there to catch him, and he had to learn how to catch himself,” said Whitney.

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The 29-year-old mother captured an adorable video of Roman walking toward his dog Maggie while saying, “Look Maggie! I walking Maggie!”

The short clip quickly went viral, inspiring people around the world.


You think he’s proud of himself?
“Look Maggie, I walking Maggie!”

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Posted by Defying Odds: Roman’s Journey on Wednesday, August 1, 2018

“He touched a lot of people,” said Roman’s father. “From random people telling us their story, you know how they were depressed or suicidal or they were going through all these medical situations and to see that he influenced them in a positive way to change their mindset and to change their view is just so heartwarming, and it feels like he just gave hope to so many people with a 7-second clip.”

Check out more from Roman’s story in the CBS Miami interview below: 

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.