Christmas cards are still a great and traditional way to offer seasons greetings to family and friends. But how would you like to receive 6000 in just a few weeks?!
Well, that is just what Ryan Beining, an 8-year-old from Kokomo, got to support him and offer him best wishes since he has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Ryan's mother, Anita Beining, spoke about how touched the family were to receive all the Christmas cards from anonymous well-wishers:
"It's very touching., It's very heartwarming and we are very blessed," she said.
Ryan was told in 2012 that he had DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma), a form of cancer which affects the brain. Unfortunately, cutting away the tumor, which is exactly in the area where Ryan's breathing, memory and ability to walk comes from, is not an option.
Even though Ryan has undergone extensive radiation for the last eight months to shrink the tumor, the treatment failed. His mother commented on how patient her son has been: "He has never complained, he has never asked why me, he has never been down hearted."
As the treatment proved to be ineffective, Ryan decided that he was going to celebrate Christmas early, and a group of his teachers offered to help. They cooked Ryan a full Christmas dinner, bought him presents, and asked their students to write Christmas cards.
The idea soon went viral on Facebook, and before long Ryan began to receive mail loads of cards from well-wishers. In fact, he received so many cards that even if he read 30 cards an hour for eight days straight it would take 25 days just to get through the 6,000 Christmas cards he received.
His mother said: "It's fun to see where all the cards come from. It's fun to hear people say I heard about you and we are in California or we are praying for you in New York. It's just fun to see all the different places where they are coming from."
Apart from anything else Anita said that the cards have been a kind of therapy for Ryan: "This is something we can do as a family. Unencumbered and just enjoy," she said.
You can send your own Christmas card to Ryan to the following address:
Ryan's Rallyc/o Taylor Intermediate School3700 E. 300 South,Kokomo, IN 46902