Toddler with spina bifida warms hearts after showing his dog he can walk


(ABC NEWS)- An adorable little boy is spreading smiles across the globe after a video of him celebrating his first steps alongside his dog went viral.


“Look, Maggie! I’m walking, Maggie!” Roman Dinkel, 2, can be heard telling his pup in the video.


The video of Roman has since racked up millions of views on Facebook.


“He’s everybody’s best friend,” said Whitney Dinkel, the toddler’s mom. “He could make even the grumpiest person smile.”


The Dinkel family has three children and lives in Overland Park, Kansas. When Whitney Dinkel was 20 weeks pregnant with Roman, doctors diagnosed him with spina bifida. While in utero, he underwent a surgery meant to improve breathing issues and the functional movement he’d have in his legs after he was born.


“Before he was born, we were told that there was a chance that he wouldn’t be able to walk,” Roman’s dad, Adam Dinkel, told “Good Morning America.” “[We were] scared, confused on why this was happening. And fear is really the big kicker, because you want all your children to have a wonderful life.”


Roman was born on May 5, 2016, and with the help of chiropratic and physical therapy, he persevered and started using a walker one year later.


Just this week, the toddler used his crutches on his own and took his first steps independently.


“He’s a warrior,” Adam Dinkel said.

Daniella Hankey

Daniella Hankey joined Newswatch as a Reporter. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to southern West Virginia from Florida to further pursue her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. Daniella was born and raised in Orlando and is a proud Floridian. Her current interests include enjoying everything West Virginia has to offer, from outdoor adventures to the beautiful mountains and scenery. As a multi-trained journalist, Daniella is always prepared to cover the stories that matter to our viewers and help to keep her newly adopted community informed. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at