Last week, a 6-year-old boy from Worcester who’s awaiting a heart transplant filmed a video asking people to send him Christmas cards to decorate his hospital room.
Carlos Rolon’s mother posted the video to her Facebook page, expecting to get a few cards to put up on the wall.
“I didn’t quite realize that it was going to go viral,” Sheena Cossette said Thursday.
Carlos has already received more than 3,000 cards, she said. And that’s just counting the ones sent directly to the hospital — she hasn’t even checked their P.O. box yet.
And Carlos has gotten more than just cards. One first grade class filmed a video singing a song for him, some people have sent toys, and a man who is a heart transplant recipient has pledged to run from Worcester to Boston as a fundraiser for the little boy.
Cossette said Carlos has gotten cards from all across the country, so she put a map up on the back of his door and they put a sticker on it every time he gets one from a new state. He even got one from Hawaii.
She said Carlos is beyond excited to have all of the cards, and they’ve been letting him open a couple each day so he doesn’t get overwhelmed. She’s planning on putting all the cards in portfolios she can give Carlos when he gets older.
Since he’ll be in the hospital for the holidays, Cossette said she’s happy to have something to liven up the walls he stares at all day. Thursday marked Carlos’s 102nd day in the hospital.
“We’re stuck here until he gets a heart,” she said.
Carlos was born with an abnormality to one of his heart chambers and needs a transplant.
Cossette said a hidden advantage of his Christmas card request going viral has been being able to spread the word about organ donation. Many people don’t understand how long the process can take, she said, and how difficult it is to find a match.
Cossette also has a message for everyone who sent Carlos a card.
“I want them all to know how much this truly means to my family, and how grateful I am for making my son’s Christmas so special,” she said. “It feels so good to know there’s so many positive people out there.”
Though his room is sure to overflow, you can still send Carlos a card by mailing it to this address:
C/o Carlos Rolon
P.O. Box 3497
Worcester, MA 01613