Turning 11 on 11/11/11: Sixth-grader named Autumn celebrating auspicious birthday at Tim Hortons
Today is 11/11/11. Not only is that a very cool date on the calendar, it’s also a very special day for Autumn Burnell. The sixth-grader at South Middle School in Belleville is turning 11.
Autumn, whose parents named her for the season they love, discovered the happy coincidence earlier this year. Like just about any kid, she was thinking about her birthday and what presents she might like to receive. All of a sudden it dawned on her that she was turning 11 on 11/11/11. “I just thought that was really cool,” she said.
Photo courtesy of Tina Burnell
Autumn thought. And she decided she wanted to go to Tim Hortons. That’s right, Tim Hortons. The family goes there occasionally, but this visit before school today will be a special treat because Autumn will get a cappuccino. She's not usually allowed to have coffee drinks.
After the cappuccino, Tina Burnell said Autumn will also get a surprise visit to a beauty salon, where she’ll get her hair cut and styled.
Though the Burnells acknowledge the “cool factor” in today’s date, they’re keeping things in perspective. “I think every birthday’s special,” Autumn said. Her mom agrees.
Before Autumn was born, doctors told Tina Burnell her daughter had severe genetic deformities and that she would likely not survive long outside the womb. If she did survive, doctors said she would be blind, deaf and severely developmentally disabled, Tina Burnell said.
When Autumn was born healthy, doctors were surprised, and Tina Burnell and her husband, Tom Burnell, were overjoyed.
“For me tomorrow is just one more in a long line of blessings of having her,” Tina Burnell said Thursday. “Every birthday that you can spend with your child or a loved one is a gift.”