Autism Light #471 is Nicole Webster.
Nicole Webster is from Midland, Michigan. Her daughter Lillie has autism and a congenital disorder called 1p36 deletion syndrome. A single autism mother, who herself has brain cancer, Nicole Webster is an Autism Light for being an outstanding and courageous parent who has helped thousands of people hold onto kindness.
Nicole Webster became famous in January 2018, when she and her daughter Lillie’s interactions were observed on a Detroit-bound airplane flight by a teacher Rebecca Somers. Lillie had a stuffed bear called ‘Kindness’ and in order to calm her on the stressful plane ride Nicole kept telling her daughter to ‘hold onto Kindness’. The simple beauty of that message was passed on over social media by Rebecca Sommer. It became a viral post shared over 200,000 times in January 2018, and it made #holdontokindness a popular twitter hashtag at the time.
This is an excerpt of what Rebecca Somers expressed on Facebook about her encounter with Nicole Webster,
I talked with the mom coming up the ramp off the plane and told her what a great job she’s doing with her daughter. She made several remarks, and I told her I knew it had to be tiring, but thanked her for being consistent (the teacher part of me came out). She then told me the little girl was going to have surgery on her legs to correct them. But then she also told me how she (the mom) is battling brain cancer and how exhausting her treatments are. My heart sank. I assured her that she would be in my continual thoughts and prayers and how she and her daughter taught everyone a lesson today: ‘Hold on to Kindness, you never know what another person is going through.’”
Nicole Webster’s story was passed on through Facebook and YouTube.
Here are some news articles and blogs on Nicole Webster and Lillie.
Special thanks to Nicole Webster for being an Autism Light. Her dedication and creative engagement as a single mother is extraordinary as she shines her light in the midst of her own journey with brain cancer. We wish Nicole all the best along with hope and healing from her cancer. May others come into Nicole and Lillie’s life to lend a helping hand to this special family. May we all hold onto Kindness in these difficult times and realize how others are going through more than we could ever imagine.
- Cancer care in Midland: Resources help relieve burden of patients, caregivers (Midland Daily News, February 1, 2020)
- Hold Onto Kindness: How a Mom, an Autistic Girl, and a Stuffed Bear Inspired a Movement (TheAutismSite.com Blog)
- Social media movement inspired by Michigan girl with autism reminds people to ‘hold on to kindness’ (Click On Detroit, January 7, 2018)
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.