A mother in Canada is asking for Christmas cards to lift the spirits of her 9-year-old daughter with cancer, who relied on the comfort of get-well cards to cheer her up while receiving treatment in the hospital.
Hailey Rodenhiser spent Christmas 2014 in the hospital after she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia earlier that month, her mother, Jaunita Rodenhiser, told ABC News. While doctors estimated that she would be in remission within a month of treatment, it actually took six months, and Hailey continues to receive chemotherapy to this day.
At times, the maintenance treatment can be brutal, Rodenhiser said. Over the last couple of months, Rodenhiser said she noticed her daughter seemed depressed due to her health complications. Rodenhiser said she wanted to try and "change the tone" of the holiday season for Hailey and "get her energized about the holidays."
At first, Rodenhiser considered counseling to help her daughter feel better, but knowing how much her daughter loves getting mail, she decided to try a simpler alternative first, turning to Facebook for help, she said.
"This year I would like to show Hailey how much she is loved and cared about..." Rodenhiser wrote on Facebook. "Knowing how much Hailey loves getting mail, cards, and letters, one way that I know of to show her the spirit of Christmas is to request everyone [to] send her a Christmas card and/or letter of inspiration."
Recieving the cards is the highlight of Hailey's day, Rodenhiser said. The first thing she says when they pull into the driveway after school is, "Mail!" according to her mother.
"She absolutely goes over the moon when she gets a letter or a card," Rodenhiser said, adding that Hailey is in the "best spirits" she's seen her in recently.
So far, Hailey has received dozens of cards, and Rodenhiser has noticed she's beginning to get her smile back. She's happier and is actually looking forward to the holidays, Rodenhiser said. The mail makes her realize she's cared for and gets her out of funky moods when she's wondering why she can't "be like everyone else," Rodenhiser said.
Hailey's favorite type of cards to receive are ones that feature animals, especially dogs, cats and horses, Rodenhiser said. Hailey's dream is to become a veterinarian one day, and she's "always" watching funny cat videos.
Rodenhiser said that although she belives the art of writing letters and sending cards has been "lost with technology," she's happy use to social media to her advantage if it'll mean increasing the joy Hailey will receive every day this holiday season.
If you would like to send a Christmas card, send it to this address:
151 Hirtle Road
Dayspring, Nova Scotia
Keep in mind that postage to Canada from the U.S. is $1.15 for a letter weighing less than 2 ounces.