Altavista boy with rare kidney disease receives nearly 20,000 cards for his birthday

Karson Taylor turned 6 on Sept. 7

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ALTAVISTA, Va. - An Altavista boy with a rare kidney disease is celebrating after receiving thousands of cards from people around the world for his 6th birthday.

10 News introduced you to Karson Taylor a couple weeks ago, asking you to help fulfill his wish of getting lots of birthday cards.

Karson has spent the past few days diving through a huge pile of around 20,000 cards.

"It’s pretty amazing," Karson said.

The cards are from every U.S. state and several other countries.

"We’ve even got them from China, Guam, the Philippines, Japan and Germany. Team Karson has become a national, international phenomenon," Karson’s grandmother Kim Taylor said.  

"It made my birthday special," Karson said.

It was much more special than his last birthday, which he spent in the intensive care unit after he was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called chronic nephrotic syndrome last June. That's when people started sending him cards, which he's read several times since to remind him that people are rooting for him.

“Now he knows the world cares about him,” Kim said.

He's received handmade cards from day cares, businesses and senior centers. Police departments have even sent him badges and patches.

"I got a card from a little lady the other day that wrote to me and she said, 'Before I saw your grandson on TV, I was going to quit dialysis and I’m not now,” Kim said.

His grandmother said the cards have changed Karson.

"Now he's more able to understand, ‘You know what, I can make it through tonight because tomorrow morning when I get up, I’ve got 10 cards waiting for me,’" Kim said.

They’re proving the power of a simple card to let a boy beating the odds know that he's not doing it alone.

"I want to say thank y'all for sending me all these cards," Karson said.

"He says his prayers every night and he says, ‘Thank you, God, for Jessica and Carter, thank you for channel 10 and thank you people in the world for loving me," Kim said.

Karson is still asking for cards. You can mail a card to 1 Sourwood Lane, Altavista, Virginia 24517.

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