ORLANDO, Fla. – A powerful moment between two Floridians sharing the same limb difference has been shared thousands of times online.
Joseph Tidd, 1, and Amy Siesel, 34, met with a fist bump that became an instant friendship.
"It was a big moment -- still is -- even when I watch it right now, it still is," said Colleen Tidd, the toddler's mother.
Siesel, who lives near St. Petersburg, said she searched her whole life for another person with an upper limb difference like hers. She recently discovered The Lucky Fin Project on Facebook, a support network for people with limb differences and parents looking for specialized camps, prosthetics and community gatherings.
Siesel said after joining the group on Facebook she was invited to a special Lucky Fin meet and greet in Orlando, organized by Colleen Tidd. That gathering is where the Siesel's husband caught the special meeting with his cellphone.
Siesel is seen kneeling down to give the little boy a fist bump, and as soon as she does, Joseph melts into her for an embrace.
"It definitely hit me -- he 100 percent realized that Amy and Joseph were alike," Colleen Tidd said.
The connection captured on camera is a testament to the program's mission, said Ashley Mae Sherman, ambassador for The Lucky Fin Project.
"I do get emotional about it because it's really important to me," Sherman said. "More people are going to know about it and not feel as alone."
The Florida chapter of The Lucky Fin Project is hoping more shares of the video will improve visibility of people with limb differences, especially in a year when Central Florida native Shaquem Griffin made history as the first one-handed player picked in the NFL draft.
"My hope is that he’ll grow up in a world that’s different from the one I grew up in, because people will be more aware, more educated, more accepting and loving,” Siesel said.
Tidd said she hopes more people will join the Florida chapter of The Lucky Fin Project to show her son that anything is possible and maybe one day meet Griffin.
"I went to UCF as well, so of course I'm going to be a Griffin fan. Who better to have as a role model, (than) someone that can make it as far as he has," Tidd said.