Hateful messages sprayed onto plywood panels with white and red paint have cropped up around Toledo, Ohio, urging the parents of an infant with two rare conditions to “let the baby die.” Those divisive words, though, are actually inspiring people around the world in the opposite way they were intended.
“That sign did the actual opposite of what that person wanted, because obviously, it has gone global,” said Angela Ahlers, the mother of RJ, who was born in July and is battling mosaic trisomy 9 and agenesis of the corpus callosum, CNN reported.
She went on to say she and her husband, KC, have received supportive messages from people in Canada, Australia, and Argentina, as well as in the U.S.
When he first saw the signs, KC said he was stunned. The hateful message read, “Stop asking for money. Let the baby die. It’s called Darwinism. Happy Holidays.” The wooden placards were placed wherever KC had put up plywood signs near a local shopping mall, asking people for donations to cover the medical costs for RJ, whose initials stand for Randy James.
“I came out. I saw it. Immediately took the one down,” KC told WTVG-TV. “There were other ones that were up, but somebody, some other good Samaritans, kicked them down.”
It was nearly impossible for KC to believe anyone would put up signs like that.
“It shocked me,” he admitted. “I mean, it really shocked me that someone would have that kind of cruelty.”
As of late Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe account set up for RJ had far exceeded its $20,000 request. The donation total sits at more than $35,500.
KC said he and his wife are choosing not to reciprocate the hate displayed in those red-colored signs.
“We want to raise our son to not reciprocate hatred,” he explained. “We want to battle hatred with love. So, we obviously know somebody that did this is disturbed and we hope they get help. But, we’re going to keep taking your signs down as we see them because this town doesn’t need hatred. This town needs love.”
So far, RJ has gone to at least 15 specialist appointments, and the medical costs are adding up. If you would like to donate to help cover some of the costs for the Ahlers, click here. Whether you are able to give or not, please be in prayer for RJ and his parents.