'Prayers for Dayton Gilkison' card project launched in Piggott, goes international

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 boy who was diagnosed with cancer will celebrate his birthday in 11 days.

The Piggott community decided to make Dayton Gilkison's upcoming 10th birthday a special one by collecting 1,000 cards for him by his birthday on March 25.

After Piggott resident Geraldine Crawford posted the plan and a picture on Facebook, Dayton started receiving 20 to 80 cards everyday from people around the world, such as New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Africa.

"He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia," said Dayton's dad Joseph. "He's received cards from eight, nine, 10 different countries."

Dayton's mom Heather says he looks forward to seeing the mailman everyday. As of Friday, March 14, he has received 1,422 cards.

"He does smile when he gets them. He's not feeling good right now, but he does. It's one thing that does make him smile. He knows when the mail is coming and when he's getting more cards."

Dayton got sick two weeks after the family moved to Region 8 from Texas. Dayton's dad Joseph grew up in Piggott.

"It's been a blessing to come back to this community and just have the sole support of everybody from here, and not only everybody from here but from around the world," he said.

"It's been amazing. I found out that one person can make a difference," said Crawford.

Heather said Dayton's illness and the support from family and friends around the globe have shown her family how to focus on the positive.

"It could always be worse. He goes to St. Jude. When you're there and you see all those kids, what they're going through and they're still smiling, there's no reason for you to get upset over the little things when some people are breathing their last breath or fighting for their life."

Send cards for Dayton to the address below:

Dayton Gilkison

777 North Garfield

Piggott, AR 72454

Click here to visit Dayton's Facebook support page.

A donation account has been established for Dayton and his family at First National Bank.

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