Aaron Stamper was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic t-cell 2 leukemia three years ago, just two days before his 13th birthday. One year later, his 19-year-old brother Ethan died in a car crash.
All Aaron wanted for his 16th birthday was as many cards as he could get, but an east-central Kentucky boy who's battling cancer got much more than that.
He received 13,000 cards on Monday alone. That more than doubles his previous take for a total of more than 24,000 cards and letters, and that doesn't include all the packages he's received.
People across Kentucky turned out to help Aaron celebrate his birthday Sunday. The Estill County has been inspiring people all over the world since his story went public.
Aaron's mother said she wanted to make his 16th birthday special by granting his small request for cards, which he collects.
"When I get older, I want to put them in a book so I can remember them all, remember how hard things were," Aaron said.
His mother said each card gives Aaron the courage to keep fighting.
Late last week, Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy installed a large new mailbox outside Aaron's home to accommodate the influx of cards that were arriving from around the world.
Emergency workers and people from across Kentucky helped him celebrate on his actually birthday, which was Sunday, as he marveled at the far-flung locations cards were mailed. He was so excited and in disbelief that he received a card from Australia!
As the well-wishes continue to pour in from across the globe, Aaron has a message for anyone going through their own struggle: "Stay strong. Just keep going. That's all I can tell you to do. It will eventually get better."
Aaron, who at one time weight just 60 pounds and relied on a wheelchair because of his illness, will continue chemotherapy through the summer. He is expected to finish his treatments by August.
If you'd like to send Aaron a card, it is NOT too late! Here's his address: 2795 Pea Ridge Road, Irvine, KY 40336.