A young woman was looking for feedback about a dress to wear to her upcoming high school formal and decided to text her friend a photo. But instead of getting the sign-off from her peer, the student received an encouraging response from a Tennessee dad of six.
The hilarious exchange started when Sydney Uselton sent a photo of her in a dress to a number she believed to be her friend's. Instead, Tony Wood received the text and decided to boost the student’s confidence ... with the help of five of his six children.
Wood replied sending a photo of his kids with the message, “My wife isn’t home, so I couldn’t get her opinion, but the kids and I think you look stunning in your dress! You should definitely go with that one!”
“Society puts a lot of pressure on these young women to have a certain look and a certain body build,” he later told the Daily Mail Australia. “We try to teach our children to be themselves and not worry about what others think ... Even with that, my young daughters already express a desire to 'fit in' and I figured this young lady might need that reassurance.”
Though the text exchange ended there, the story didn’t.
The mistaken texts went viral on Instagram and Twitter after Uselton’s friend Mandi Miller published screenshots of the conversation on her social media accounts, bringing attention to Wood’s Facebook page and his 4-year-old son Kaizler’s GoFundMe page.
Kaizler, who was missing in the photo, was diagnosed with Pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2015, the Facebook page explains. The GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds for his cancer treatments.
Since the story of the mistaken text went viral, the page has received hundreds of donations. As of Monday afternoon, 917 people had made contributions, bringing the amount up to $26,165 — $16,165 more than the family’s goal of $10K.
Wood has been shocked at the response.
“Wow. This is nuts! It's crazy!” he said on his Facebook page. “It's a bigger blessing than anyone could ever know.”
Strangers touched by Wood’s initial kindness have been leaving encouraging comments along with donations.
“I think the internet is going to make sure you guys can focus on what matters! Hope he recovers quickly and fully,” one donor wrote.
“Proof that a little act of kindness can reap bigger acts of kindness,” wrote another.
“Kaizler is currently in the Maintenance phase and will continue to be until the end of treatment until April 14, 2019,” Wood shared on Facebook.