A gravely ill nine-year-old boy in Kentucky hoped to receive as many holiday cards as possible from friends and strangers, but even he has been surprised by the response.
Over the past month, more than 500,000 cards have poured in for Dalton Dingus, who is in stage 4 of cystic fibrosis.
The cards started arriving by the truckload, literally, after a neighbor posted on Facebook asking supporters to send Christmas wishes of love and support for Dalton. The post went viral and the snail mail quickly followed.
“It brings me joy to see his face when he sees all this mail, and he knows it’s for him,” mother Jessica Dingus told the Herald-Leader.
Cards have come from as far away as Europe and East Asia.
“The only continent I don’t think he has one from is Antarctica,” Dingus said.
US Postal Service
Cards from South Korea to South Carolina have poured in.
The holiday wishes have been delivered to Dalton’s grandparents home in Magoffin County, a largely rural area home to 13,000 people.
“He’s getting more mail than the whole county,” said Salyersville Postmaster Vivan Bradley. “I have never seen anything like this. It’s amazing.”
Dalton has been in-and-out of the hospital and was sent home on Nov. 6 after his parents were told he had only two to eight days to live. But his cystic fibrosis, a disorder that affects the lungs, liver, pancreas and other organs, seems to have stabilized over the past few weeks, his mother said.
Miss Kentucky and a unit of Kentucky State Troopers have been among those to help deliver the piles of cards.
“He’s excited for the first time in a long time,” his mother told ABC. “He’s smiling more. He’s laughing more, he’s beginning to become how he was two years ago.”
“I think just knowing people really do care for him, that the cards let him know people love him, it has all helped,” she said.
There’s rumor that Dalton even has claimed the world record for number of holiday cards received. But Guinness told ABC it “currently does not monitor a category for this.”