A Virginia cancer patient says she has a lot to be thankful for after receiving thousands of pieces of mail from all over the world this holiday season.
The Free Lance-Star reported that Jean Lee, 61, posted a request for cards via Facebook as of fall 2019 to help her as she fought the depression of dealing with treatment for a cancer she had been battling since 2003.
The cancer, known as undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, has reoccurred six times and has spread into inoperable areas around Lee’s heart.
When she received word that she had 18 months to live in summer 2017, Lee decided to become a recluse and not form too many connections with the outside world.
After she survived through Christmas 2018, she realized she needed to be out in the world again. By fall 2019, she asked people to send cards with a little bit about their lives and where they lived so she could live vicariously through them.
Her request went viral and led to a television news segment on WJLA Channel 7 in Washington, DC. It also led to a group of 70 residents in her town of Stafford, Virginia, singing Christmas carols outside her home on December 18.
Lee says she had received 7,500 pieces of mail from all over the world, including a package from Antarctica, a Union Jack scarf from England, and a package of Kona coffee from Hawaii.
She also received a handmade clock/jewelry box made by inmates at a Tennessee prison, who paid $25 in shipping costs to ensure she would receive the package.
Lee said she had been in awe at the amount of generosity she had received and said the entire experience has given her “hope.” Relatives and friends have stopped by to help open the outpouring of envelopes.
“When I say this whole experience has given me hope, that’s coming from a woman who was very jaded,” Lee told the Lance-Star. “It’s just amazing. I can’t express it, it’s just, wow.”