After coming home from school with only a few signatures in his yearbook, despite having asked for more, 12-year-old Brody Ridder wrote a heartbreaking message to himself.
"Hope you make some more friends," Brody wrote.
When his mother, Cassandra Ridder, saw what her son had written, she was heartbroken. In addition to enduring months of bullying because “his ears stick out” and he’s "extremely thin," Brody spends every lunch and recess sitting alone at his school in Westminster, Colorado, she told Today Parents.
That day, Cassandra said she reached a breaking point, so she posted a plea for "kindness" on the school’s Facebook page for parents.
“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like things are getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook. Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it,” Ridder wrote. “So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”
“I honestly didn’t think much would come of it,” Cassandra said. But she and Brody were both shocked by what happened next.
The kindness started pouring in from kids at school, parents, and even celebrities. Among those who reached out and showed support was "Ant-Man" star Paul Rudd, who FaceTimed Brody and sent him a handwritten note.
“It was great talking to you the other day. It’s important to remember that even when life is tough that things get better. There are so many people that love you and think you’re the coolest kid there is — me being one of them! I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’re going to accomplish,” Rudd wrote.
Rudd even sent Brody a signed "Ant-Man" helmet that says, "For my good friend Brody when he takes over the world.”
Rudd and Brody are exchanging regular text messages, Cassandra told Today. She said her son is looking forward to the end of summer vacation for the first time in a long while.
“He used to dread the end of summer vacation. He’d try to fake sick on the first day," Cassandra said. "But Brody is like a new person because of this outpouring of love and support. It’s been overwhelming — in the best way."