To the Times: During this holiday season the Little Angels Foundation (LAF) was approached with the story of 9-year-old Dalton Dingus of Salyersville, Ky. Dalton, who was diagnosed with stage four cystic fibrosis, was sent home from the hospital in early November because the doctors could no longer care for him. He was given 10 days to live with the best estimates science could give to the parents of a dying child. Dalton wanted one small Christmas wish answered, a dying wish. He didn’t ask for money, toys, or any gifts for that matter;Dalton’s dying wish was for Christmas cards. He wanted his name put into the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most Christmas cards. The mark prior to his quest was 35,000 cards.

At first Dalton’s mother Jessica reached out on Facebook and cards started coming in from neighbors and neighboring states. Dalton’s message caught on with the local news, and started to spread like wildfire throughout the country. In just one month, Dalton was receiving mail trucks worth of letters, gifts and Christmas cards on a daily basis. His story hit the national news scene by Christmas, and then the cards began pouring into the local post office and at volumes they could not keep up with.

Dalton at the age of 9 dreamed big, he dreamed for the record books! Dalton set his heart on the mark or 35,000 Christmas cards. At last count Dalton received more than 700,000 cards.

Here at LAF we were able to send him a package that contained presents, money, letters, and more than 4,400 cards. We were proud to have Delaware County chip in with just under one week’s notice. We reached out to area elementary schools and preschools for help. The support was overwhelming at our headquarters from the dozens of people each day dropping off cards. We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Dalton may be the most inspirational person of 2012. He was able to bring so many people together from all over the world during the holidays. Here at the LAF headquarters we received cards from 26 states, Canada, and two soldiers in Afghanistan. We believe the cards that were being sent to him gave him the strength to survive, and a new outlook at each day. Each night Dalton’s mother would read these cards to him like a bedtime story, and this was the highlight of his day. Dalton particularly liked hearing where each sender of the card was from. Some times it is just the little things and the love that can conquer medicine. Dalton survived for nearly two months longer than the best guess science had to offer.

Last night, Jan. 12, we learned of the passing of 9-year-old Dalton Dingus. Dalton will forever be a Little Angel, and we will always cherish his ability to inspire so many. His parents should be so proud of the young man they created. His suffering is finally over, and he can now rest without the pain. In a world with so many problems, and so many struggles, it breaks my heart to see such an inspirational human being leaving this world.