Despite his disability, his mother, Tambra Malone, said she is hoping their community in Danville, Virginia, will help him celebrate his 16th birthday.
"We were just brainstorming for his birthday and he [Tate] said he would like a birthday party and birthday cards," explained Malone. "He likes people to read to him and he loves bright colors."
Though Tate is limited in his abilities to communicate, Malone said her son loves people. She’s asking for the community’s help to show Tate he’s loved and supported.
"I thought it would be good for the community to get to come out and get to know him and know more about his condition," she said. "I want to encourage others not to be trapped inside just because they have a condition."
Caring for Tate is a full-time job, Malone said. The job became even more stressful since Tate’s father was diagnosed with a brain condition that left him needing care as well.
Susan Elzey, a freelance reporter for the Danville Register & Bee, said she has known the family for quite some time. Before becoming ill, Tate's father would hold fundraisers every two years for his son and Elzey would cover the event.
To help spread the word about Tate's birthday wish, Malone reached out to Elzey for help.
"I contacted Ms. Susan right away for help getting the word out," Malone said.
Malone is asking the community to help Tate celebrate by sending him birthday cards. Tate’s 16th birthday is Sunday, Aug. 30.
"He told me he wanted birthday cards and a birthday party, so I'm just supporting him and reaching out to the community to make that happen," Malone said. "I want to let him know he can do anything and he can be anything."
Malone is asking people to mail birthday cards for Tate to:
710 Grove Street Suite A
Danville, VA 24541