East AL grandfather, grandson in viral photo celebrate boy's 1st birthday

East AL grandfather, grandson in viral photo celebrate boy's 1st birthday
The photo that went viral. (Source: Sunshine Moody Photography)
The photo that went viral. (Source: Sunshine Moody Photography)

SMITHS STATION, AL (WTVM) -  Let them eat cake!

It's the only way to celebrate a birthday for 1-year-old twins Kash and Kolbie Gregware. This celebration is especially meaningful for their grandfather, 68-year-old Alan Halstead, who feels a particular bond with Kolbie, who fighting for his health every day.

"It's just a special bond," Halstead said. "When I hold him, it's just always he looks at me and I look at him, and it's just a connection, you know?"

The past year, Kolbie has visited hospitals in Atlanta on a regular basis. The 1-year-old was born with a heart defect, chronic lung disease, and kidney disease, among other ailments.

Alan's devotion to Kolbie was caught on camera, and people all over the country soon took notice after a picture of the pair went viral.

Halstead, who's undergone several open-heart surgeries, said he had no idea the snapshot would ever get national attention.

"It was just a family thing," he said. "I never realized it would get the attention it did."

The photographer who took the photo, was at the twin's birthday party on Saturday. Moody says she still can't believe the family moment she captured got picked up by a national TV network.

"I think I was more shocked because Brandy messaged me and she's like, 'ABC picked this up,'" Moody said,  "And I was like, 'Oh, my God!'"

The most important thing, Moody said, is that the twins will now have a keepsake to remember their grandpa.

"I want out there for them," Moody said. "I did it for them and I want them, you know, I want picture staying for him and Kolbie."

As for Halstead, he said he hopes to stick around for countless more birthday parties with the rest of his family. 

"As long as I'm here," Halstead said, "we're going to do things like this."

Brandy Gregware, Kash and Kolbie's mother, said when Kolbie ate his birthday cupcake, it was the first time he's tasted any solid food as he usually eats through a tube.

Nearing the end of the party, Halstead said he has several things left on his bucket list. As he just recently walked one granddaughter down the aisle at her wedding, he said one item is to one day go fishing with his grandsons.

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