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Nine-year-old Kentucky boy dies after collecting 700,000 greeting cards

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 18th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Given very little time to live, nine-year-old Dalton Dingus, in the rural town of Magoffin County, Kentucky had one request: he wanted to set a world record for receiving the most greeting cards. The cards poured in, to the tune of 700,000.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, doctors say that little Dalton lived two months longer than he was originally diagnosed. His mom says that Dalton's spirits were lifted around the holidays as cards poured in.

Setting a record for receiving the most Christmas cards ever, Dalton passed away last week. In stage 4 of cystic fibrosis, he died Saturday at his home surrounded by loved ones.

His parents were originally told after a hospital stint in early November that he had only 2 to 8 days to live. Coming home from the hospital, Dalton started collecting holiday cards. His story won worldwide attention after a neighbor posted on Facebook urging people everywhere to send greeting cards and other postal messages to the young boy.

Cards poured in from South Korea to South Carolina poured in. While the Guinness Book of World Records doesn't keep an official tally of cards received, it's widely believed that Dalton's pull of 700,000 holiday greetings was an all-time record.

Arriving by the truckload to Dalton's parent's home, the mass card sending was quite a challenge for Magoffin County's postal workers, which usually services an area of about 13,000 people.

"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 newspaper reporters.

During the mass mailing, Dalton's overall mood brightened.   

"He's excited for the first time in a long time," his mother told ABC. "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.

Dalton's funeral took place this week.


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