Terminally Ill Boy Wishes to Get 5 Cards for B’day, but Receives Thousands and a Parade

April 4, 2019 Updated: April 8, 2019

The only wish one boy had for his upcoming 15th birthday was to receive birthday cards. In order to fulfill that wish, his aunt took to the net and made an appeal for help.

When Owen Knight, of Webster, New York, noticed his birthday was just around the corner, he kept reminding his aunt, Amy VanWinkle, to send him a card.

His goal was to get five cards in the mail.

Posted by Mike Gessin on Thursday, November 1, 2018

Amy figured her network of family and friends on Facebook would be able to help.

It was important for her to do this for Owen, who has a series of medical issues, including a dilated cardiomyopathy and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, which is a terminal disease.

Owen’s sister and his home aide, Mike Gessin, also appealed to their networks for help.

Posted by Mindy Davey on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Little did they expect the posts to go viral.

Owen was soon showered with thousands of birthday cards and gifts.

I NEED SOME HELP! This is my younger brother I never had hes 14 years old and his name is Owen Knight. He has an…

Posted by Mike Gessin on Thursday, November 1, 2018

YouTube star Mindy Davey also dropped by to give him presents and wish the teen a happy birthday.

This day has been such an emotional one!!! Owen is such an amazing strong young boy with an awesome sense of humor!! His…

Posted by Mindy Davey on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

“A Webster police officer showed up at my door, and he said that they saw my sister’s post and that they wanted to help,” his mom, Jessica VanWinkle, told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Jessica initially asked the officer to help install new smoke and gas detectors, but things just kept getting better.

The officers soon joined the community in a parade that was planned especially for Owen’s birthday.

The Webster Police Department and others from the Webster Community will be conducting a small parade in celebration of…

Posted by Webster Police Department, New York on Monday, November 5, 2018

“I figured maybe it would be one cop car, a fire truck—he loves fire trucks.

“Instead, it became this huge thing: There was SWAT there, policemen, fire trucks, ambulances, loaders, construction vehicles, Batman with his vehicle,” Jessica recalled.

A few more department photos from today's event. We'd like to thank the community very much for all their enthusiasm and support for such a great cause. Happy Birthday Owen!

Posted by Webster Police Department, New York on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Owen was delighted with the totally unexpected celebrations.

But being that he had a hankering for five birthday cards right from the start, nothing prepared him for the thousands of cards that he later found scattered on the floor at home after class.

“There are really good people out there,” a very grateful Amy told 13 Wham.

“It’s nice to see that taking a second out of their day to throw a stamp on a card and throw it in the mail, will put a smile on my nephew’s face.”

This Webster Boy Asked For Birthday Cards. Thousands Have Responded.

Owen's aunt asked for people to send him cards for his 15th birthday.But the town where he lives went above and beyond that request. Story: http://bit.ly/2AUC4aQ

Posted by 13 WHAM ABC on Thursday, November 8, 2018

“Thank you very much for sending them, and I appreciate it,” Owen said.

The young teen couldn’t stop smiling.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who liked, commented, sent a birthday message, shared, messaged us…

Posted by Jessica VanWinkle on Thursday, November 8, 2018

“He said he has to take a break from smiling because it’s starting to hurt,” Jessica told WROC.

It is heartening to see a community go out of their way to shower a lonely teen, who is terminally ill, with love. What’s more, it’s times like these that Owen’s family—who are deeply grateful for the kindness extended to their son—will forever keep close to heart.