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Claim: Cancer sufferer Shane wants to set a world record for number of birthday cards received.
Origins: This request for birthday cards for a languishing tot first reached us in January 2007. Unlike some of the other "sick child asks for cards" entreaties, this one was for real — there was such a child, and both his condition and request were as described.
On 30 May 2007, Shane Bernier, of Lancaster, Ontario, turned eight. His wish was to receive birthday cards, as many as possible.
At the age of four, Shane was diagnosed as having Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). While he did go into early remission, he suffered a relapse in July 2006 and underwent a course of chemotherapy at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) until the end of June 2007, at which time he was placed on a maintenance program with weaker chemo into
If the chemo doesn't work, he might have to have a bone marrow transplant. His six-year-old brother, Jacob, is a donor match.
According to Shane's mother, Nathalie Bernier, after the latest round of chemotherapy is completed Shane will have an 80% chance of being fine for the rest of his life
As of his 8th birthday (in May 2007), Shane had received nearly two million cards, of which he and his family had by then opened 650,000. By December 2007, he had received more than
While there is no official record for the most birthday cards received in a single year, Craig Shergold is believed to have received in the neighborhood of
As Guiness has concluded, the danger with such entreaties is they don't magically end when the need is fulfilled. (To gain a better appreciation of how much havoc good intentions can wreak even when the appeal is valid, see the horrendous tale of what
The Bernier family has asked that folks stop sending cards — the more than thirteen million already received are more than enough.
Barbara "house of cards" Mikkelson
Update: In May 2007 a version of this e-mail solicited birthday cards for a boy named Shane (no surname) in Crystal Lake, Illinois:
The Barrington and Crystal Lake area chapters of Make A Wish Foundation have asked for our help. A little boy in grammar school in Crystal Lake is enrolled in the Make A Wish Foundation. Regrettably, he is in end stages of leukemia. Shane was asked what his wish would be if it could be made possible, and unlike others before him, he didn't ask to meet a famous baseball player or go to Disney World. No, Shane has asked for an unusual opportunity for immortality. He wants to set the Guiness Book of World Records for receiving the Most Birthday Cards.The Crystal Lake version is false, according to Canterbury Elementary:
Shane's birthday is May 30th, coming up. If you can take a moment to send him a birthday card, it would mean a great deal to him and his parents. Please consider passing Shane's request on to family, friends or acquiantanceswho might lend a card and stamp to help try to make this young boy's wish come true.
Send birthday cards to:
C/O Canterbury School
875 Canterbury Drive
Crystal Lake IL 60014
The message about the terminally ill boy at Canterbury School in Crystal Lake SchoolLater in May 2007, a Shuylerville, New York version began to circulate:
There is a little boy named Shane who lives in Schuylerville and will beThe Schuylerville version is also false:
He turned down a trip to Disneyland to get one million birthday cards. Could you Please help? Store bought and homemade cards are welcome.
Please send them to:
C/O Schuylerville Elementary School
14 Spring Street
Schuylerville, NY 12871
Please pass the word on to your family and friends.
Thank you for all your help.
Yes we are trying to clarify the misinformation along the way this has been changed. We are only a school that made cards for Shane. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CARDS TO US. We are directing people to www.shaneswish.com for his address and information. Please remove our name and information from theAdditional information:
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