Published August 20, 2013
A hate-filled letter received by a family in Canada telling them to move out of the neighborhood or euthanize their autistic son has gone viral, prompting a flood of support for the family.
The letter began to receive attention after being posted on the Twitter account of Brad and MaryLynne Stella, the married couple that comprise the country duo The Stellas. Their daughters, Lennon, 14, and Maisy Stella, 9, who star as Maddie and Daphne Conrad on the hit TV show “Nashville,” also posted the photo to their joint Twitter account.
The tweet from @TheStellas read: “This letter was anonymously slipped to our good friend regarding her autistic boy Max. This is appalling.”
The tweet from @LennonandMaisy read: “A close family friend has an autistic boy and this was an anonymous letter slipped under her door. This is real.”
Both tweets included links to photos of the letter.
The Stellas are family friends of Karla Begley, whose autistic son Max is the target of the letter. They initially became aware of the letter after seeing posts about it on Karla’s Facebook page.
“Karla was talking about it on Facebook, so we just obviously were upset by it and knew that it needed to be shared,” MaryLynne, 39, Stella told FoxNews.com. “And awareness is key to change, and so we thought it would be a good thing to put it up and have people see how disturbing it was.”
The letter demands that Begley take action over her "retarded" son Max. The Ontario mother said she had no idea who would send such a hateful letter, which left her family shocked and devastated.
She tearfully told City News: "Who would do this to a child?"
The letter goes on to criticize Begley for allowing Max to play outside and says: "That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!"
The letter also tells Karla that she has a "retarded kid" and "should deal with it properly".
"What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!!!"
The writer finishes by demanding the family "go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!!" and asks the family to do the right thing and move or "euthanize him. Either way, we are ALL better off!!!"
Though MaryLynne said she hasn’t seen Max in a while, she spoke highly of Max, Karla, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and the entire Begley family.
“(Max) is just a sweetheart. He loves life, and he’s a happy boy. Honestly, it’s the whole family; they’re so incredible,” MaryLynne said. “I hope something awesome comes to them through this. They deserve it so much. They’ve had a really rough go.”
Max does not know the contents of the letter drawing so much attention to him and his family, according to MaryLynne.
“He doesn’t know what it’s from, he’s just hamming it up for the cameras and loving the attention,” MaryLynne said.
The police are now involved in the situation and are taking steps to determine who sent the anonymous letter.