Matt Cobrink, 53, was recently treated to a flight across the country to see his favorite baseball player, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. But the trip from his home in Los Angeles meant Matt would be away from his father for almost a week, a rare occurrence in the 25 years since his mother passed away.
When Matt flew back home on August 12, his sister, Marcy Cobrink Mayer, knew her brother was bound to have a priceless reaction upon seeing his 88-year-old father. Just as Matt made his way down the escalators of LAX, she took out her smartphone and recorded him as he searched for his dad, Malcolm Cobrink.
“I knew that my brother and my father are so closely attached, and I knew that after five days my brother was going to really be missing my father,” Marcy, 56, tells PEOPLE. “They’re never separated for five days!”
In Marcy’s footage of the reunion, Matt is seen rushing toward his father and giving him dozens of kisses right in the airport.
Matt’s reaction didn’t surprise Marcy in the least bit since he has never been one to hold back affection.
“I expect that kind of reaction from him,” she says of her brother. “Sometimes I won’t see him for a few days, and then I’ll go to his house or my dad will bring him over here, and he will kiss me like 20 times. He’s just really very loving and happy to see everybody!”
The video of the father and son reunion quickly went viral over Facebook, and garnered ove 14 million views and 17,000 comments in nearly a week. The video was flooded with messages from people who said Matt’s reaction to his father brought them to tears.
“People all over the world were sending me pictures of their children with Down Syndrome, telling me that it made them cry, that they’re so happy to see such a long, loving relationship between my father and my brother,” Marcy, from Fullerton, California, explains. “It gives them hope for their children or they have a cousin who has Down Syndrome. And that it’s so nice to see something that’s happy instead of things that are negative.”
About one in every 700 babies in the country is born with Down Syndrome, which occurs when an individual is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 6,000 babies in the U.S. are born with the chromosomal condition each year.
Marcy hopes everyone can take away a little bit of joy from the video of her loving father and brother.
“We just want to share the love. We want to let people know that it’s really not Down Syndrome, we call it ‘Up Syndrome,’ because my brother has brought so much love into everybody’s life that he comes in contact with,” she says. “It’s just really remarkable.”
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