Dalton Dingus had one wish this past Christmas: to break the Guinness World Record for the most Christmas cards ever received.
The 9-year-old Kentucky boy, who had been battling cystic fibrosis since he was 4 years old, received more than 800,000 cards from supporters worldwide. On Saturday, he died from the debilitating disease, one day short of his 10th birthday, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
At his funeral on Jan 16., many of these Christmas cards adorned the church in Salyersvile, Ky., a resident who attended the ceremony, told ABC News.
Dingus’ Christmas card campaign began after a neighbor posted a Facebook message asking friends and family to donate, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. At the time, Dingus was living with stage 4 cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that critically affects the lungs and digestive system.
Soon, the Facebook post was picked up by a local news outlets, followed by national media attention, and the cards began pouring in, the news outlet reports.
"He's excited for the first time in a long time," his mother, Jessica Dingus, told ABC News after attention spread about her son’s wish. "He's smiling more. He's laughing more, he's beginning to become how he was two years ago."
And although the Guinness World Records doesn’t have a category for Dingus’ wish, the organization commended the young boy’s effort, according to the Huffington Post. The organization was also in contact with the Dingus family before Dalton’s death, according to ABC News.
"[It's] not something we currently have a category for at the moment," Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas said in an emailed comment to HuffPost. "Everyone at Guinness World Records applauds Dalton’s enthusiasm for record breaking and wish him the very best of luck in his endeavor!"
The last time the Guinness World Records recognized a similar Christmas card effort was in 1992 when Jarrod Booth of British Columbia, Canada, collected 205,120 cards in February 1990, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Dalton Dingus died one day before his 10th birthday.