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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020
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Over 1,000 birthday cards for boy (9) with rare disease who had to cancel his birthday party

Ruth Beattie asked people to send cards to her son Jack, who is (9) tomorrow, after his party had to be called off.

Jack is pictured with some of his cards and parcels.
Jack is pictured with some of his cards and parcels.
Image: Ciara Wilkinson

A BOY WITH a rare disease, who had to cancel his birthday party due to Covid-19, has had over 1,000 cards posted to him after his mother made an appeal for people to mail him.

Ruth Beattie asked people to send cards to her son Jack, who is (9) tomorrow, after his party had to be called off.

It would have been his first party in three years – the last two years he was not able to have one as a result of having surgery related to having Osteogenesis Imperfacta or brittle bone disease.

Ruth said it broke her heart when she had to tell him his party this year could not go ahead and instead she appealed for people to post him birthday cards.

“The response has been unbelievable,” she said. 

The latest count has over 1,000 cards, including one for Ruth, and some have come from as far away as France and Switzerland as well as Ireland and the UK.

She said the response means he has having “a birthday he will never forget.”

The family live in Raphoe, county Donegal and Ruth said, “We have had cards and parcels from Dublin , Carlow, Mayo, Donegal, Monaghan, Derry and London and that’s not even half of them opened.”

“I’d like to thank each and everyone that took the time to make/send a card/parcel to Jack.  It has been a very emotional and overwhelming few days to watch the delight in Jack’s face.  This will be a birthday never to forget.”

She said the response has been “Unbelievable. I never imagined this response. I’m actually very emotional this last few days to see everyone come together at such difficult times.”

“I set out to do this thinking that my Facebook family would send cards to make Jack’s birthday special (and) not expecting it to go viral.”

Ruth had the support of the charity Little Blue Heroes and Jack is an honorary Garda.  “Ever since he was made an honorary Garda in January 2018 up in Garda Headquarters, he has the full uniform and goes on duty in Letterkenny Garda Station from time to time,” she said.

“All I can say is this is a birthday Jack will never forget. I had one wish to make him happy and my wish definitely came true.”

She said “thank you” to people from all over the world for what they have done and said, “ I will be forever grateful to each and every one of them.”

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About the author:

Elaine Keogh

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