9-Year-Old Girl Battling Leukemia Only Wants Christmas Cards to Lift Her Spirits For The Holidays
The holiday season is always difficult for 9-year-old Hailey Rodenhiser, as it marks the two-year anniversary of being diagnosed with leukemia, which she continues to battle today.
As a way to cheer her up, her mom, Jaunita Rodenhiser, has reached out to her friends and family on Facebook, and asked supporters to send Hailey Christmas cards to lift her spirits.
"[We're] trying to redirect focus, and get her upbeat and interested in the holidays," Rodenhiser, of Nova Scotia, Canada, told InsideEdition.com. "[We want her] to see that there's things to look forward to."
Since sharing her request two weeks ago, Rodenhiser said the cards have already begun pouring in.
"It makes me happy, because it shows how much people care about me," 9-year-old Hailey told InsideEdition.com. "I like the ones with the animals on them. I just love animals."
So far, the family has received dozens of cards, with more and more filling up their mailbox each day.
"I knew how much she liked getting mail," Rodenhiser said. "[The cards] make her smile. It gives her that sparkle, it gives her that encouragement. She's a tough cookie."
She said Hailey has been having a difficult time since receiving her grim diagnosis.
"You've got a 7-year-old who's never been sick. She was bubbly, and happy, and very good, well behaved, good disposition, always cheerful," Rodenhiser recalled. "Everything changed overnight."
Hailey's treatment has also taken longer than normal because she also battled some rare complications to the disease.
As a result, she missed most of second grade, and the beginning of third grade.
But, Rodenhiser said the cards and support her daughter has received have played a big role in getting her into the holiday spirit.
When she first started seeing the cards, Hailey even felt well enough to attend a full week of classes — something she is rarely able to do because of her illness.
"She has her mail to come home to in the evening. That keeps her energized through the day," her mom said. "I think your mind plays a big part into your physical well-being, and I think it's a part of why she's feeling better. We're all giving her something to look forward to."
To send Hailey Rodenhiser a holiday greeting, mail cards to the following address:
151 Hirtle Road
Dayspring, Nova Scotia