For many of us, a card during the Christmas period is a regularity — something we read, smile at and don’t think much about after the holiday has passed.
For local youngster Maddox Hyde, Christmas cards mean much more.
Hyde, 14, an eighth grade student at DuBois Area Middle School, has been told he doesn’t have long to live.
The terminally-ill teenager has a wish to make what might be his last Christmas special — cards from around the world.
Hyde was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was 6 years old. At the age when most boys are focused on throwing a ball or playing with friends, he was undergoing radiation and antibody treatments, as well as a bone marrow transplant.
For eight years, Hyde and his family have suffered through an up-and-down rollercoaster of remission and reccurrence.
The community has followed Hyde’s his fight, helping to support him and other local children with cancer through fundraisers, blood drives and more.
In September of last year, DuBois Middle School gave Hyde and his family a tropical “send-off” for his trip to Hawaii, where he was born. His father, Ken Hyde, of Reynoldsville, was stationed in Oahu with the U.S. Marines. DAMS and the Jamie’s Dream Team — a charitable Pittsburgh organization — made it possible for Hyde to say “aloha” to his birth state, a longtime wish of his.
Since Hyde’s request for Christmas cards went viral, shared by hundreds of people, the response has been tremendous. Professional wrestling celebrity Stephanie McMahon even shared the post on her personal page.
On the “Friends of Maddox” Facebook page, posts of support have come flooding in, saying things like “My card is in the mail and on its way,” and “Stay strong, buddy.”
Hyde’s mother, Kristi Potter, said the cards have brought smiles to their faces during a difficult time.
“Today, he said, ‘Wow, there sure are a lot of cards and people thinking about me,’” she said.
So far, no cards have come from out of the country yet, Potter says, but many have come from other states.
“We have started making a list of every state they’ve come from,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun seeing where the news has traveled.”
People have also sent gift cards, money and stickers, as well as a dinosaur that someone crocheted for him, Potter said.
The cards with jokes inside them are his favorite, Potter says.
“It’s so heart warming to see everyone reaching out, even just to say hello.”
Christmas cards can be mailed to:
333 Ohio St.
Reynoldsville, PA 15851