Fulfilling Danny's Birthday Wish

5-year-old Danny Nickerson, who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, has asked for as many cards as he can get for his 6th birthday

What a Wednesday it was at the post office in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The pile of letters and packages was just a little bigger than Monday and Tuesday – and all of them were birthday cards and parcels for 5-year-old Danny Nickerson, who turns 6 Friday.

There was a mountain-range of mail in the back loading area where Danny crawled up and down the peaks as his family – Mom, Dad, Grandmom and Granddad and cousins – loaded a UHaul truck and an SUV with the bounty of well-wishing missives and gifts from as far away as Kuwait, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Austria, California, Alaska, Norway and Sweden.

Post Office supervisor Barbara Hynes made it plain this was a happily exhausting labor of love for her small staff, as they wheeled out racks of letters and bins loaded with boxes – all for Danny, who, like the rest of his family, seemed overwhelmed.

This all began when Danny’s mom, 24-year-old Carley Nickerson, asked Danny what he wanted for his birthday. He is gravely ill, diagnoses last October with an inoperable brain tumor called DIPG – diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma - for which there is no cure.

He undergoes day-long bouts of chemotherapy every one week and had doctors’ visits in between. Danny told him mom he just wanted cards with his name on it, since he loves getting real mail.

So Carley submitted an article to the Attleboro Sun-Chronicle, which the editors decided to put on the front page; from there it went to Facebook and the rest of the web, bringing in the first batch of 2,000 letters to the post office. To put it in perspective, Wednesday’s bounty was in excess of 10,000.

Matt Sfara drove down from Newton with something he couldn’t get into a mailbox – a 4-by-6-foot card addressed to Danny, which Danny and his cousins opened, ripping up shards of paper, to reveal a multi-colored birthday greeting from Matt and his friends.

"I’m not very good a picking out cards at CVS, so I had one made," Matt said, smiling.

Carley said this has helped her get through the days and weeks of stress, sorrow and treatment, and that she has to hope it will reverse Danny’s medical fortunes.

"It's an amazing distraction from our every day, from just the sadness and stress and struggling from every day. It's an amazing distraction to be so happy and surrounded by everybody and have something awesome to be doing with him," she said.

Danny’s dad, speaking as he loaded packages into the uhaul, was plainly overwhelmed.

"I wasn't expecting that. I wasn't expecting birthday cards and not all this. This is just, it's touching that there's that many people out there I can say in the world who actually care about him," Daniel Jamieson, Danny's father, said.

Danny’s grandmother used the word of the hour – overwhelmed.

“He asked for cards and he got his cards, and then some,” she said.

Now there’s an understatement.

To top off the festitivitis, a number of local fire departments and other agencies are teaming up for a massive birthday party at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium this Saturday.

NECN pitched in a little card of our own for Danny, which folds out to show a surfer dude riding a nice big curl. We hope Danny and his family can go on catching that big wave of good will from around the world.

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