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Christmas Cards for Dalton Dingus


As posted on Facebook, Dec. 14, 2012:
Dalton Dingus

Netlore Archive: Circulating via social media, a chain letter requesting Christmas cards for 9-year-old Dalton Dingus, a terminally ill cystic fibrosis patient who hopes to set a Guinness World Record for most Christmas cards received.

Description: Chain letter
Circulating since: Dec. 2012
Status: True / Outdated (see details below)

Example #1:
As posted on Facebook, Dec. 14, 2012:

Please send a Christmas card to make this boys wish come true!!!Dalton Dingus is a 9 yo boy and has stage 4 Cystic Fibrosis. He has been discharged from the hospital because there is nothing else that doctors can do and he only has a couple of weeks to live. Dalton has a dream to beat the Guinness World Record for the most Christmas Cards. The record is 35,000 at last count and Dalton has 23,000. LETS MAKE DALTON'S DREAM COME TRUE:

HC BOX 1249

Example #2:
As posted on Facebook, Dec. 14, 2012:

TO ALL OF MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS... LETS ALL GET TOGETHER AND MAKE THIS BOY'S LAST WISH COME TRUE: 9 year-old Dalton Dingus has stage 4 Cystic Fibrosis and has been sent home because there’s nothing else doctors can do. They've given him a couple weeks to live. He told his mom he’s ready to go because he’s tired. He wants to beat the Guinness Record for receiving the most Christmas Cards. The record is 35,000. Join us in sending Dalton a card! His address is: Dalton Dingus H.C. 62 Box 1249 Salyersville, KY 41465. For the fight, for the cure, for the kids.

Important update: News sources in Kentucky report that Dalton Dingus died on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. At last report he had received over 700,000 Christmas cards from well-wishers around the world.

Analysis: Local and national news reports confirm that 9-year-old Dalton Dingus of Salyersville, Kentucky is suffering from stage four cystic fibrosis and doesn't have long to live, according to his doctors. His stated wish to break the Guinness world record for the most Christmas cards received went viral via Facebook in November, and as of December 14 he had collected nearly 100,000 cards, according to an update from his mother, Jessica Dingus.

The previous world record of 205,120 Christmas cards received was set in 1990 by 8-year-old Jarrod Booth, a terminally ill cancer patient from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. That record was unofficially broken 19 years later by Noah Biorkman, 6 years old, of South Lyon, Michigan, who received 1,175,752 Christmas cards from well-wishers before succumbing to cancer in November 2009.

According to Guinness spokesperson Jamie Panas no such records category is currently being monitored, but if a formal proposal is received from the Dingus family Guinness will consider re-opening it.

This report would not be complete without mention of Craig Shergold, a British lad who was the subject of a similar viral campaign after being diagnosed with brain cancer in 1989. In two years' time he received a record 30 million get-well cards, not to mention the attention of a wealthy benefactor who arranged for a surgical procedure to remove his brain tumor. He was completely cured, but the chain letter claiming he was at death's door lived on. By 2001, twelve years after the campaign started, Shergold had received an estimated 350 million get-well cards, and bags of them were still being delivered daily despite his and his family's pleas for people to stop mailing them. They're probably still coming in to this day.

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Sources and further reading:

Dying Kentucky Boy's Wish: A New Christmas Card Record
ABC News, 14 December 2012

Young Boy Hopes to Break Guinness Record Before He Dies
WTVR-TV News, 11 December 2012

Dalton Dingus, 9, of Kentucky, Battling Cystic Fibrosis Wants to Break Christmas Card Record
KYPost.com, 14 December 2012

Noah Biorkman Christmas Card Request
Urban Legends, 23 November 2009

Ill Child Inundated with Christmas Cards
Associated Press, 22 December 1989

Letters to Sick-Now-Recovered Student Keep Coming
Cox News Service, 8 July 1998

Craig Shergold: A User's Guide
Urban Legends

What Is a Chain Letter?
Urban Legends

Last updated 01/13/13

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