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Sick US boy receives 500,000 Christmas cards

06:30 Sat Dec 29 2012
Alys Francis

A sick nine-year-old boy who was told he had just days to live has received more than 500,000 Christmas cards from around the world after a Facebook plea for support went viral.

Dalton Dingus is in stage 4 of cystic fibrosis and was sent home from hospital in the US state of Kentucky on November 6 after doctors said he only had two to eight days to live.

A few days later his neighbour Andrea Ogg posted a message on Facebook asking for people to send Dalton Christmas cards and messages of support, after first receiving permission from his parents Jessica and Tommy Dingus.

The cards quickly began pouring in and the boy has since received more than 500,000 from as far away as Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia.

"The only continent I don't think he has one from is Antarctica," Dalton's mother told Kentucky.com.

Local post master Vivian Bradley said she had never seen anything like it, saying Dalton was "getting more mail than the whole country".

Dalton's illness, which affects his lungs, liver, pancreas and other organs, has stabilised over the past few weeks, according to his mother.

She said the tidal-wave of cards appeared to have rejuvenated him.

"He's excited for the first time in a long time, he's smiling more, he's laughing more," Mrs Dingus told ABC News.

"I think just knowing people really do care for him, that the cards let him know people love him, it has all helped."

Guinness World Records does not currently keep a record for receipt of the most Christmas cards, with the last record holder named as Jarrod Booth in 1990 with 205,120 cards.

But after hearing about Dalton's mammoth card haul officials have been in touch with Mrs Dingus and say they are interested in reopening the category.