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Girl with terminal cancer receives 7,000 cards to celebrate 10th birthday

Birthday cards

TURNER, Maine — A Maine girl with terminal brain cancer received an uplifting message for her 10th birthday on Tuesday -- more than 7,000 of them.

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The family of Alyssa Cole, of Turner, learned that the girl, nicknamed Lyssie, had cancer. A tumor was removed last winter, but doctors later told family members that the girl’s cancer was terminal, WMTW-TV reported.

Lyssie’s mother, Jamie Cole, then made a public appeal, asking people to mail birthday cards to the house of the girl’s grandmother for a heartwarming surprise.

She was not disappointed, as more than 7,000 cards and presents had arrived by the time Jan. 16 rolled around.

“I honestly think we have a card from every state,” Jamie Cole told the television station. “We’ve gotten some from Canada, we’ve gotten some from the UK.”

The fire department in Turner and the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office teamed up to organize a parade for Lyssie and delivered a cake and flowers, WMTW reported.

“We were happy to help make Alyssa’s birthday even more special for her,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.

The parade included school buses filled with Lyssie’s classmates who sang “Happy Birthday” to her, WMTW reported.

When she arrived at her school, Lyssie was given a “Beauty and the Beast” themed party, with her favorite princess -- Belle -- stopping by to extend best wishes, according to the television station.

Lyssie reaching her 10th birthday was “definitely a milestone,” Jamie Cole said.

“We weren’t totally sure we would make it to (the milestone) and we are so grateful that we have,” she told WMTW. “And we just want to celebrate as much as we can.

“Thank you so much. We are so grateful. We had no idea it was going to get this much response,” Jamie Cole added. “She is like the most special, luckiest girl to have all of this love surrounding her.”

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