West Jefferson residents Dode McVey and Tod Elfrink appreciate the thousands of Christmas cards people have sent to their son, Nate Elfrink, but the amount has become too much for the family to keep up with.
Nate, 7, has battled a brain tumor since he was 20 months old. Earlier this month, doctors told the family that treatments could shrink the tumor but not fast enough.
Upon receiving the news, Dode posted an update for family and friends on a Web page dedicated to Nate’s condition. In it, she explained that hospice care had been called and that the family wanted to make the most of their time together. She also said Nate likes to receive Christmas cards and provided the family’s address.
Well-meaning folks who received the update spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, where it took on a life of its own. Somewhere along the way, people got the idea that Nate wanted a million Christmas cards.
“My wish for him was to get some cards,” Dode said. She said it was not Nate’s wish to get a million.
“Everybody means well, and we do appreciate their prayers and concerns,” Dode said. “We’re just overwhelmed.”
The family asks that instead of sending cards, people consider making donations in Nate’s name that could help other children. They suggest supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the hospice program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, both of which have provided Nate with care.
For information about donating to St. Jude, go to www.stjude.org
or call 1-800-822-6344.
There are three ways to donate to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation: by mail at 700 Children’s Dr., Columbus, OH 43205; online at www.nationwidechildrens.org/giving;
or by phone at (614) 355-0888.