When 24-year-old Andy Pallone finally met Santa Claus, it heart-warmed his mother, and unexpectedly the rest of America, reported Belleville News-Democrat. His mother, Jennifer Pallone, wanted to capture the moment on video to share with family, yet what she didn’t expect when she posted it on Facebook that over a million others would get to enjoy it too.
Andy O’Fallon suffers from a chromosomal abnormality which is called 15Q24. This disease results in slow development, minor orthopedic issues, a hole in the heart and underdeveloped muscle tone. This occurs when there is a deletion in one of the chromosomes, specifically chromo-15. Yet, it’s not a normal deletion that can be seen under a microscope, it’s a micro-deletion, so small that it takes greater technology to see. There are about 33 recorded individuals with the disease and it affects roughly 1 in every 42,000 individuals, reported Unique. Andy was the first person diagnosed with the abnormality and is currently the oldest living with it as well. To learn more about this rare condition, click here.
While his disease contributes to a smaller build, he is still a tall man– even his mom was worried he might take down Santa Claus with his excitement! To her relief, Santa stood at a tall 6′ 6″ and easily handled the love attack that day. Andy is known to exude extreme joy, which his mom sees on the daily. When he ran to Santa screaming with open arms, it definitely made Jennifer smile and laugh, but it was nothing out of the ordinary for their family. It was just a typical Saturday in O’Fallon, and Jennifer took Andy to the Frieze Harley-Davidson to say hi to Santa Clause. Little did she know this experience caught on her phone would go viral.
Jennifer was approached by several companies looking to buy or license her video, who offered to split the money earned. Yet, it was an easy, “no” for the family– they will let Andy be a one-hit wonder. They aren’t looking to make money off of him that way and are just happy to get to share this lovely fun experience they had with the world.