The family of ailing 9-year-old Kentucky boy Dalton Dingus is pushing Guinness World Records to sanction a category for most Christmas cards received, as Dalton’s gotten 504,269 cards and counting this holiday season.
Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas said the institution does “currently does not monitor a category for this,” though a previous footnote 20 years ago, when the Christmas card milestone was recognized, denoted that Canadian Jarrod Booth received 205,120.
Here’s how it all unfolded: Dalton is suffering from stage four cystic fibrosis, and just two months ago, his mother Jessica said the illness was so widespread that “doctors had given up on him” and gave him “two to eight days to live.”
The boy wears a face mask to enable breathing, inhales 12 liters of oxygen, and takes 18 different medications daily. His mother said the influx of cards and the like have helped his spirits immensely since the holidays began.
“He’s doing pretty good now,” Jessica said. “It’s just been the best Christmas ever. He’s excited for the first time in a long time. 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.”
A family friend started a Facebook campaign to send him their well-wishes, which quickly went viral, attracting cards domestically and internationally — so many so that the family has had to use the local church to store them at, as volunteers screen the incoming letters and cards.
Church volunteer Debra Williams explained: “We’re looking for those special cards we think Dalton would like to read. One little girl said she wished he was her boyfriend. The big majority of the town has sent cards or is helping out. Everyone just wants to do what we can. We’re all just praying and hoping.”
To send Dalton a Christmas card, address it to: Dalton Dingus HC 62 Box 1249 Salyersville, KY 41465.