THE family of a little boy with leukaemia say their spirits have been lifted after receiving more than 800 postcards from well-wishers across the world.
Seven-year-old Josh Johns, from Hixon, was set a homework assignment to send a postcard during the school holiday – he now has around 850 from Japan to Australia.
Josh’s dad, Jason, said: “We were planning on going to Edinburgh but had to cancel due to his treatment. My brother was going to Texas and he said he’d send some postcards for Josh to use for the project.
“My brother’s friends started sending some, from Hong Kong, Scandinavia and Bangladesh. An hour later there were about 60 people asking to send postcards.
“A friend of ours is a blogger and she said we should set up a Facebook page, which we did on July 27. On the Tuesday we had 33 postcards through the door and it’s spiralled into a massive collection - 106 came today. The postman thinks it’s really funny.”
Kind-hearted strangers have also sent Josh small gifts and souvenirs from around the world.
“People have been so kind,” said Jason. “He’s got a clock with all the different time zones from a couple in Wales, a globe from Manchester, fridge magnets from Adelaide and more.”
Jason said: “His six-year-old sister Freya, older sister Bethan, 15, and eldest brother Kristian, 17, all think it’s really cool. They get very excited with celebrity retweets from @Postcards4Josh.”
Celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr, David Tennant and Roy Stride of Scouting for Girls have all retweeted a plea for people to send cards.
Jason said Josh was feeling a bit down before this, but his nurse has said she’s not seen him so excited in a long time. It has really boosted his confidence, not to mention improving his geography skills as he discovers more about the places where the postcards have originated.
“We’re taken aback by the kindness these people are showing,” said Jason. “We never thought it would be this big. It’s so lovely.
“We’ve had people who have been through a similar treatment and they’ve been really encouraging, giving us an idea of what to expect. Doctors are brilliant, but it means more to hear from people who have gotten over it.
“It’s helped other people and made a difference in their lives and it gives them confidence that people can recover.”
Josh is taking some folders filled with the postcards to hospital on Monday to keep him entertained.
Send Josh a postcard at: 2 Swansmoor Drive, Hixon, Staffordshire, ST18 0FP, or post a photo at Postcards for Josh on Facebook or tweet @Postcards4Josh.