Skip to main content

A viral video helps a Minnesota girl get a guide dog

Ruby Ardolf is one of only 12 people in the world with a genetic condition known as Stromme Syndrome.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Lakeville's Ruby Ardolf is an internet darling after a simple Instagram video of her answering her mom's questions went viral.

The 12-year-old appears in the minute-long video that was uploaded last week, answering about her favorite Disney characters (Frozen – all of them), her favorite person (Mama), her views on squirrels (not a fan), and the favorite thing about her dog Stella ("When her paws are wet").

The video, as of Monday, has been viewed more than 560,000 times. It kickstarted a fundraising campaign to help her deal with Stromme Syndrome, a rare genetic condition affecting only 12 people in the world.

According the GoFundMe page, Ardolf has developed microcephaly (a birth defect resulting in an unusually small head), vision impairment, bowel obstruction, short stature and developmental delays as a result of the condition.

But it doesn't affect the sunny demeanor she shows in the viral video, which has melted hearts across the internet. Here it is:

A post shared by Angie (@angieandruby) on May 16, 2017 at 4:11pm PDT

The success of the video took her mother, Angela, aback. But she launched the fundraising page in the wake of its success, aiming to raise $15,000 to get a facilitated guide dog that can help Ruby "walk more independently" and prevent her from getting injured on stairs and obstacles.

It took mere days for the fundraising drive to reach its target, which happened on Monday morning much to Angela Ardolf's emotional delight.

"The outpouring of love and support has been so amazing, humbling and awe-inspiring, not only to Ruby and me, but to so many of my family members and friends," she wrote on GoFundMe. "I have shed many happy tears throughout this whole process."

Ruby's mom commented on Facebook that the sudden attention "caught me totally off guard." As ever with the internet, she received a few "cruel comments" from internet trolls "who have nothing better to do than put other people down."

But she said the positive remarks "far outweighed the negative," adding: "It has been a crazy wild ride."

Next Up


Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation


Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Election officials dismiss conservative group's complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar

The group alleged that she used campaign funds on her future husband's consulting firm.

Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 9.53.04 AM

Reports: 6 names surface in Vikings' search for new head coach

Six names have surfaced Saturday in the Minnesota Vikings' hunt for a new head coach.


Dr rose leslie

U of M doctor's vaping X-ray video goes viral on TikTok

The second-year resident has used the social media platform to get across a vital message.

Police help with the most adorable home delivery in Minnesota

Paramedics weren't there yet, and the baby was on its way out.

doctor, blood work, needle

Health officials declare Hepatitis A outbreak in Minnesota

13 people have been hospitalized as a result.

Watch: Mother's video about playground confrontation involving her son with autism has people talking

Kate Swenson's video has people thinking at the start of Autism Awareness Month.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota adds 2 more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

There will be 17 conditions that qualify people to obtain medical marijuana in Minnesota.