Forget a Hatchimal. All Hailey Rodenhiser wants for Christmas is holiday cards.
The Nova Scotia, Canada–based 9-year-old, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December 2014, has loved receiving snail mail ever since she learned to read. “Hailey would come home from school wanting to know if she had any packages or letters,” her mom, Jaunita Rodenhiser, tells Us Weekly. “I even signed her up for some magazines at one point; that way she would have something waiting for her.”
So after Hailey spent a particularly brutal three months in and out of the hospital due to liver complications, Jaunita knew just the way to cheer up her daughter.
“This year I would like to show Hailey how much she is loved and cared about by so many of our friends and family,” Jaunita, 46, wrote in a November 24 Facebook post. “Knowing how much Hailey loves getting mail, cards and letters, one way that I know of to show her the spirit of Christmas is to request everyone send her a Christmas card and/or letter of inspiration. If you can do this I know it will bring a smile to her face with each small envelope she receives.”
Though Hailey has been receiving chemotherapy for two years, the treatments haven’t gotten easier. “She’s scared. It doesn’t matter how many times she gets it done,” Juanita tells Us. “When she gets sedated for her IV, she is always scared that something bad is going to happen.” And the fourth grader longs for her old, cancer-free life. “Hailey tries to do things … like she gets invited to birthday parties and sometimes can’t stay because she finds the loud noises bother her,” says Juanita. “She gets frustrated.”
But the cards — Hailey’s making a mural of them! — are helping her to feel better. “Her favorites are the ones with animals on them,”Juanita tells Us. “She’s got a cat and loves dogs and horses and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.”
If you would like to send Hailey a card, send it to:
151 Hirtle Road
Dayspring, Nova Scotia
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