|Poor Little Tyke Puts On A Brave Face|
Eight-year-old Elyse Wickenheiser, who goes by Elly, says her favorite time of the day is when the mail is delivered.
"I get all these cards from tons of people," said Elly, with a huge smile.
Each delivery is filled with cards and packages all addressed to her. Written inside the cards are well-wishes for this brave little girl.
In April, her parents, Joe and Mariya Wickenheiser, got life changing news. They're youngest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.
"She feel asleep in class one day, and I'm like, this is not her," said Mariya Wickenheiser about her daughter, a student at St. Patrick's School in Carleton.
"We talked about it and then we agreed, let's get her blood work done, something is off," said Wickenheiser. "The blood work came back on her eighth birthday that she had cancer."
Since then, Elly has been undergoing weekly treatments of chemotherapy. She lost most of her hair and has to stay home from school.
"I was sort of sad because I can't go to school," said Elly. "I miss my friends and my teachers."
Lately, Elly has something to smile about: a daily delivery of Christmas cards.
"They were all for her and she was so thrilled that she just lit up, even though she wasn't feeling all that great," said Wickeheiser. "Some days, there is more than what fits in the mailbox."
Nicole Jaskot, Elly's aunt, said she started the idea of holding a Christmas card shower to bring some joy to her niece.
"At first, I just started it with my friends and family and it just like took off," said Jaskot. " I was like, 'Oh this is going to be a lot bigger than I thought!'"
Elly has already received more than 300 cards that are taped on the walls in her living room.
"The outpouring has been humbling," said her father, Joe Wickenheiser.
"It really makes me happy and makes me excited to see all the love and how I'm appreciated," said Elly.
Elly and her two older sisters read each card aloud. When they're finished, they put a dot on a map to show which state or town the card was mailed from.
"We have had people reaching out from Spain and Australia," said Jaskot. "Just word of mouth and it's been very awesome to see everyone pulling together and help the family and send some cards."
Elly hopes to receive a Christmas card from every state. If you would like to mail her a card, send it to:
11780 JONES ROAD
CARLETON, MICHIGAN 48117