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Posted on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:53 a.m.

Turning 11 on 11/11/11: Sixth-grader named Autumn celebrating auspicious birthday at Tim Hortons

By Cindy Heflin

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.


Autumn Burnell and her dad, Tom, in a photo taken earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of Tina Burnell

Her friends thought it was cool too. So did her parents. Her mom, Tina Burnell, told her to think of something extra special they could do on such a rare occasion. (After all, it will be 100 years before a date like this comes around again.)

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.”



Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

Happy Birthday, Autumn! Glad you were born healthy! My daughter turns 12 next year on 12/12/12. One of her best friends turned 10 last year on 10/10/10. It's all good.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Awesome! I hope profiles your daughter too then, cause that is only fair ;)


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Slow day in the social section so they have this. Cool. Happy Birthday.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

Happy birthday, Autumn!! How cool that you are a miracle baby, and now you are old enough to drink coffee!! :)


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

Autumn I share with you my birthday which is 6/6/66, and I was born @6:AM, so I feel the same pride you do with having the same number for the entire day. Have a GREAT BIRTHDAY !


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Happy Golden Birthday, Autumn! Hope your day is filled with special, fun-filled surprises!

Matt Whale

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Happy Birthday Autumn and many, many, many more!


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

That is cool. Happy Birthday, Autumn! Have a lucky year! Next year's 12/12/12 will be similar -- we don't have to wait 100 years.

Ann English

Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 12:05 a.m.

Next year's 12/12/12 will be the last such date for another 89 years.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

Ever since January 1st 2001 we've been doing this, it's kind of funny how now that we're almost thru the calendar people are starting to notice, "hey the day, month, and year are all the same!" lol

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

Happy Birthday Autumn. This must be a lucky number for you! Have a wonderful day.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Happy Birthday Autumn! 11 is a lucky number so I hope you have a great day!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

That is so cool - happy, happy birthday, Autumn! A friend of mine is turning 50 today, so this is a very good day for a celebration ... :)