700 Birthday Cards for a Four-Year-Old Cancer Patient

The family hopes the overwhelming number of well-wishes sets a record

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A four-year-old boy in Plymouth, England, is feeling the love after getting more than 700 birthday cards this year.

Henry Hallam suffers from neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that starts in nerve tissue. To help lift his spirits, the boy’s parents asked people to write to their son for his August 30 birthday, with the hope of setting a Guinness World Record for the most birthday cards ever received, SWNS reports. The appeal was also aimed at bolstering the family’s Hugs for Henry campaign, which aims to raise £500,000 (about $786,000) to pay for their son’s treatment.

By all measures, the effort has been a huge success. Greetings poured in from as far away as New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Dubai, but Hallam couldn’t open them on his actual birthday because he was at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, where he has spent the last year undergoing treatment. He finally returned home on Sunday and celebrated with more than 100 friends and family members. It reportedly took two days to open all of the well-wishes, which are still trickling in.

A similar appeal for greeting cards in Michigan made headlines in November 2009, when 5-year-old neuroblastoma patient Noah Biorkman received more than 1 million early Christmas cards thanks to Reddit and Facebook users, shortly before his death at the end of the month.

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