VALRICO (FOX 13) - Birthday wishes from strangers are pouring in for a little boy who's learning to value life's every moment.
Christopher Carmen is 5 years old and lives in Valrico. He was born with cystic fibrosis, and his disease was so bad, his family decided home schooling was his best option. But it was hard for him to make friends.
So when it came time for his birthday, there was no one to come to his party, so his mom took to social media to ask for help. Thanks to the kindness of the community, he has a lot to look forward to.
For an average kid, the birthday card is often ignored, put aside for the boxes and gift bags.
A birthday greeting for Christopher, however, is a wish for a date that isn't promised.
His respiratory condition is one with no cure that shortens the lives of those who suffer from it.
"Most people do not make it out of their 20s," his mom, Patricia Duffy explained.
Christopher had trouble making friends last year in school after missing so many days for treatments and hospital visits.
Now that he's homeschooled, his mom wanted him to have a birthday he could look forward to.
She posted on Facebook, asking for birthday cards early and hoping some would lead to friendships. People shared the post and the cards keep showing up.
"There's really no words for it, that there is still people out there that want to take time out of their busy lives and just send a card, even if it's a couple words. It means a lot," Duffy said.
They're coming from across the U.S.; California, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Texas and even Alaska.
"Hope this day is your best in all ages," someone wrote in one card.
"Hope you have a happy day doing all the things that make you glad," was written in another.
"Why is that your favorite card?" FOX 13 News asked.
"Because I like the song in it," Christopher said about a card with a singing hamster.
Those cards have turned into promises for a birthday party Christopher will never forget.
Based on his seemingly boundless energy when he's feeling good, we can safely assume it'll be a wild one.
Christopher turns 6 years old on August 7. That's when his birthday bash will happen on the football field at Valrico Elementary School.
If you'd like to send cards, the address is P.O. Box 1124 Valrico, Florida, 33595.