CARLETON, Mich. -- When Elly Wickenheiser made the simple request to be mailed Christmas cards, the 8-year-old who is battling cancer never imagined she would get support from around the world.
"I feel very happy!" said Elly.
In just a few weeks, more than 6,000 cards were delivered to her door.
"They were everywhere!" said Elly's mother, Mariya Whickenheiser. "The kitchen was covered, the living room was covered, the hallway covered. We even had them in Elly's room and had to bring out boxes."
Elly used a map to keep track of where the cards were mailed from. She got one from every state in the U.S. and 45 different countries.
"I got some all the way from the Mariana Islands," said Elly, as she pointed to the location on her handmade map.
"It was perfect timing through the holidays to let them know they are not alone in this," said Nicole Jaskot, Elly's aunt.
Jaskot said when she started the card shower for her niece, she never thought it would spread beyond their small town of Carleton.
"It was definitely overwhelming," said Jaskot. "We are very appreciative and it was just wonderful to see all the love and support come in for Elly."
Elly was diagnosed with leukemia in April. Last month, she spent two weeks in the hospital due to a blood infection.
"I was sad because I couldn't be with my family," said Elly.
While Christmas has come and gone, the cards for Elly keep coming in. She is now getting daily deliveries of Valentines and St. Patrick's Day cards.
"She just lights up with these cards. Every time she gets them, she opens them up and she is just so excited," said Wickenheiser. "To see that excitement in her, and happiness, it just makes my heart melt."
Elly is on the road to recovery, but still has about two more years left of chemotherapy.
"She has been a trooper through everything,"said Wickenheiser. "I don't even think she realizes how scary of a situation she has been in."
Elly plans to keep the cards that are mailed to her to make a project for 4-H.
If you would like to mail her a card, send it to:
11780 JONES ROAD
CARLETON, MICHIGAN 48117
There is also a blood drive planned in honor of Elly. It is set for Sunday, April 30th, from 10:30am to 4:30pm. It's being held at Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 671 Union Hall, 309 Detroit Ave., Monroe, Michigan.
There will also be a bake sale with all proceeds going to the Wickenheiser family.
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