A toddler who was diagnosed with a birth defect as an embryo is proving that his will is stronger than most heroes.
Roman Dinkel suffers from spina bifida, which literally means "split spine." But in a viral video, he's not letting his condition get in the way as he celebrates the joy of walking with his dog, Maggie.
In the video, the toddler is shouting exuberantly over his accomplishments as he makes his progress down the hallway.
Look Maggie! I walking, Maggie!
And the internet is there with him, cheering him on while grabbing a box of tissues.
Whitney Dinkel was disheartened over the discovery of her son's birth defect during an ultrasound at 20 weeks.
She told CBS News that she and her husband Adam were expecting to hear the usual diagnostics from the doctor.
We just expected to hear the normal things — this is the size of the head, this is the size of his feet, all those fun things, but what we heard was he had extra fluid on his brain and extra fluid on his spine.
But for Roman's parents, giving up was not an option. Roman undergone a surgical procedure before birth that would increase his chances of walking. And it's paying off.
The process had its challenges along the way.
I had to let him fall a few times so he'd know I wouldn't be there to catch him, and he had to learn how to catch himself.
This two-year-old, born with the condition spina bifida, "had to learn how to catch himself." But Roman Dinkel trie… https://t.co/icMeJJtvxv— CBS Evening News (@CBS Evening News) 1533844240.0
Spina Bifida occurs while a baby is still in the womb and is a condition when the spine column doesn't form fully enclosed. It is the most common disabling birth defect in the United States, according to the Spina Bifida Association.
Every day, about 8 babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.
With Roman's determination in perfecting his stride, the six-second video is inspiring many people not to give up on their own struggles and challenges in life.
Whitney and Adam continue to share Roman's journey on Facebook, showing him conquering the halls using his forearm crutches they refer to as "sticks."
@CBSEveningNews adorable and brave— Michele (@Michele) 1533856594.0
Whitney told CBS how proud she is of Roman and of the impact he's having on social media.
From random people telling us their story, you know, how they were depressed, or you know, how they were suicidal, or how they were going through these medical situations and to see that he influenced them in a positive way to change their mindset and change their view it's just so heartwarming. It feels like he just gave hope to so many people with a seven-second clip.
This angel is Roman Dinkel. He’s walking Maggie! He has spina bifida. I saw this video and cried. How many times h… https://t.co/SOgMIKzmWX— Cassi Mitchell Smith (@Cassi Mitchell Smith) 1533598206.0
@Gassigirl88 Heart melted!! Tears flowing ~ Nite Kind Human— Karen Alleva (@Karen Alleva) 1533603412.0
@Gassigirl88 Keep going little man you're moving right along! I was born with the same birth defect I saw this vide… https://t.co/6Zh3gi3Z4e— Brandon Pruitt (@Brandon Pruitt) 1533616896.0
@Gassigirl88 It’s easy to lose sight on how fortunate it is to be healthy in this world. Both physically and mental… https://t.co/WPzNXJq5N3— Johnny Cornwell (@Johnny Cornwell) 1533604393.0
@Gassigirl88 His name is a fricken one of a kind.....CLASSIC, he's gonna leave a lasting mark on people that littl… https://t.co/rEE6HxXwWG— CHRISTOPHER (@CHRISTOPHER) 1533602714.0
Scientists aren't sure what exactly causes Spina Bifida, but they believe the combination of genetic and environmental factors are responsible for the condition.
If you're having an off day and need an inspirational boost, just take six seconds to revisit Roman proudly declaring to his four-legged companion that he's walking. His joyous victory will surely set you back on course.