Throughout her life, 23-year-old Josie Eugenie has felt the sting of being overlooked on her birthday. Autistic and born with a connective tissue disorder in the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome family, she has had birthday parties before, but the only attendees have been family members and friends of her mother.
However, this year Josie is getting a chance to have the birthday party she's always yearned for.
Scheduled for Saturday, October 1 at Oaks Amusement Park, the party is being organized through crowdFunnit, a group that helps set up birthday parties for children who feel alienated. It is also an open-invitation event: Anyone is welcome to come and support Josie.
Those who attend will be able to purchase a $10 deluxe ride bracelet (which usually costs $17) that offers unlimited midway rides from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm and a roller skating session. For attendees in the mood to dress up, Josie is a passionate Lord of the Rings fan and has given people the option to come dressed as their favorite Rings character.
In the past, Josie has felt crushed when people haven't shown up to her birthday parties. "It makes me feel like I'm not worth getting to know," she's quoted on the party's crowdFunnit page.
Now, she's giving people a chance to get to know her and cheer her on as she turns 24. "To me," Josie says, "birthdays should always be a big deal, no matter if you're 1 or 8 or 15 or 37, 62 or 103! Birthdays are a marker of your life; you've made it another year, a little older, a little wiser."
Anyone who wants to attend can RSVP here and find Josie's Amazon present wish list here. More information is available on the party's crowdFunnit page. Josie's family is also looking to raise $275 towards basic party supplies and a quiet sensory area that's away from the excitement, in case Josie or any of the attendees with sensory processing disorder gets overwhelmed.
If you aren't able to attend, you can also send Josie a letter or birthday card through her service coordinator Candice Gage who works for Clackamas County Developmental Disabilities:
Josie's Birthday C/O Candice Gage
2051 Kaen Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045
October 1. 12 pm-2 pm. Oaks Amusement Park. 7805 SE Oaks Park Way.