To raise awareness of achondroplasia — a form of short-limbed dwarfism she was born with — 5-year-old Rilee Thurber dances to Taylor Swift’s newest hit “Shake It Off” in a video that was initially posted by her mom Angela on Facebook and then quickly went viral. Angela Thurber shared some information about her daughter’s condition in the message accompanying the Facebook video. Noting that October was dwarfism awareness month, she encouraged others to share the video and added:
I originally posted this video on my personal facebook page in October. I posted it just to show something cute Rilee did. The video started getting lots of shares quickly. I decided to take advantage of that and add a message to get word out that October is Dwarfism Awareness Month. Within hours of posting it, I edited the video description to include the message on Dwarfism Awareness Month.
The video took off and afterwards I had many request to follow Rilee so I created the facebook page Smiles From Rilee! Between facebook and YouTube the video has been viewed millions of times. Rilee’s page will allow people to follow her, but will also help raise awareness on dwarfism.
The Facebook page dedicated to Rilee is called “Smiles From Rilee” and generated more than 17,500 Facebook Likes in just over a month after it was created. The girl’s parents want to use the page not only to share videos and photos of their daughter with her big smile and blond locks, but also to help educate and build a community for others to share their stories. Rilee’s mother said:
It’s to raise awareness. Obviously here and there I’m going to post things of her showing her cute personality. Occasionally I’ll throw in a resource or something on dwarfism to help educate people.
Now here is the awesome video:
1. To raise awareness of achondroplasia — a form of short-limbed dwarfism she was born with — 5-year-old Rilee Thurber dances to Taylor Swift’s newest hit “Shake It Off”.
2. The video was initially posted by her mom Angela on Facebook and then quickly went viral.
Share Rilee’s awesome performance with your friends and help raise awareness of her illness.