Have you ever received a birthday card that just seemed to wipe away the clouds and brighten your entire day? Can you imagine receiving more than 700 of them? You could if you were four year old Henry Hallam.
Little Henry’s story appeared in a September issue of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. The article described how the youngster turned four on August 30 in a bed at the Bristol Hospital for Children. Henry is in the hospital because he has a serious childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children in Britain
each year, usually before they have their fifth birthday. The disease is treatable if caught early, but even if caught and treated, comes back 40 to 60 percent of the time – after which the survival rate drops to five percent.
Henry’s parents decided to make this birthday memorable for him and they asked people to send Henry a birthday card, hoping to gather enough to set a world record for birthday cards received. At the time that the Daily Mail article appeared, Henry had received 700 cards from all around the world. Mom and dad are in the process of contacting the Guinness World Record people to see if Henry will make it into the record book.
Henry and his parents say they are opening and reading every single card Henry receives and that it has encouraged them greatly to have so much love and support sent their way. Now the family is waiting to find out if the treatments he has been receiving have been able to rid his body of the cancer. Meanwhile, more cards continue to arrive in their mailbox.
The British story highlights how meaningful something as simple as a birthday card can be. It would just not be the same if little Henry was receiving 700 emailed birthday greetings. Those cards are tangible expressions of support. Henry can look at them and feel the love of people from places he’ll likely never visit. It took the family two days just to read the ones they’d received so far. The stamps from far away…the words written….they all communicated something that could never be translated to a computer monitor.
Maybe you don’t know anyone with an aggressive childhood cancer who is trying to set a world record, but you do know plenty of ordinary people who also need a tangible expression of support. The truth is that most people are walking around with a deep hurt inside them that they don’t want others to see. Your sister, your co-worker, your brother-in-law – they all look just fine, and perhaps they are. But it’s just as likely that they are carrying around a hidden wound.
Wouldn’t it be great to break through with an encouraging token of love in a simple birthday card? Birthday cards can be silly, serious, or funny. You can find Christian birthday cards and pop-up cards, even cards that play music. But if four year old Henry Hallam’s story tells us anything, it’s that something as simple as a birthday card can be transforming. Check out the Christian birthday cards available at The Printery
House and change a few lives around you soon.