Why an 8-year-old girl's incredible Christmas wish is going viral
All that 8-year-old Safyre Terry wants for Christmas is enough holiday cards to fill her tree — and in perhaps one of the most heartwarming stories of the season, the Internet is rallying together to make her wish come true. We can think of few kids more deserving of some holiday magic.
In 2013, Safyre survived a devastating house fire that killed her father and three siblings. Her father was able to protect her from breathing in the hot air by holding her in his arms; but ultimately, Safyre still suffered burns to over 75% of her body. Since then, she has undergone over 50 surgeries, and has had to lose her left foot and right hand. But as her aunt and guardian, Liz Dodler, will attest, the young girl remains as happy, hopeful, and beautiful as ever.
“Safyre lost everything – her father, her mother, her sister, her brothers, her home, her favorite toy, her favorite outfit – everything that was familiar to her,” Dodler told Today. “She even lost the one thing we all take for granted – her reflection. But she wakes every morning with a smile on her face. She is the true definition of hope, faith, and love.”
After the fire, Safyre’s mother signed over custodial rights to the state of New York, and Dodler petitioned to become her legal guardian. As a result, the 8-year-old now lives upstate with her aunt, uncle, and five cousins; and Dodler regularly posts updates about Safyre’s health to a Facebook page, called Safyre Schenectady’s Super Survivor.
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Last week, she posted a photo of the girl with her new Christmas tree-shaped card holder; and one supporter, Kevin Clark, asked if he could share it along with an address for people to send mail. From there, the photo was quick to go viral: As of now, the post has over 18,000 likes and 31,000 shares. It’s definitive proof that the web has power to do serious good — and the cards have already started arriving at Safyre’s door.
“She’s even had a few emailed from Italy, Sweden, Russia and the United Kingdom,” Dodler told People. “When she opens these cards, the twinkle in her eye and the sparkle in her smile are priceless.”
From the looks of it, her tree is already full of cards — but we think Safyre deserves a whole forest. If you want to send a card to Safyre (and why wouldn’t you?), you can address it to: Safyre, P.O. Box 6126, Schenectady, New York, 12306. The family has also started a crowdfunding page on YouCaring to help pay for Safyre’s medical expenses, which you can donate to right here.
(Featured image via iStock.)