Strangers answer call to throw birthday party for man with serious heart condition

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Strangers answer call to man with serious heart condition (KTRK)

Riz Nayeem had two wishes for his 28th birthday: a party and friends to help him celebrate. It was something he never had before.

His parents and family live in Houston, but his home is now in Chicago, where he works. He is lonely, and he also has a serious heart condition. Doctors have told him he can't undergo surgery right now.

"Plenty of people have far worse health problems," Nayeem said. "I intend to keep fighting. I want to help other people."

But a support network of friends would help.

He connected with Brittany Ryder on Facebook. As it happens, she lives in Houston.

"He started telling me about his situation and it touched my heart," she said.

"People weren't nice to him, and with the health issues he's dealing with, and no friends, I decided to do something. He said he wanted a birthday party, and he's getting one."

The party began with an early dinner, then came a party bus, carrying several dozen people celebrating Nayeem's special day.

Events planner Charlie Diggs assisted.

"He doesn't have any friends, and he's never been on a date," Diggs said. "That got to me."

Nayeem was overwhelmed.

"I'm at a loss for words. To feel that love and that I'm part of something now- accepted for who I am- this means the world to me," he said.

It means the world to Ryder, too.

"He gives me so much hope because he's a positive person, despite everything he's going through. He always wants everyone to be happy."

Tonight, it was his turn. Happy tears were shed.

"I can't believe all these people are here for me," Nayeem said.
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