PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Since he was just two years old, Justan Parker has fought a hard fight against Type 1 Diabetes, but over the past few years he has realized just how much the community is fighting with him.
According to his mother, Jennifer Parker, having this chronic disease has been a tough ride for her son.
"There has been many sleepless nights and hospital visits, but he is a strong, special little boy," Jennifer said.
Jennifer said about three years ago Justan had one request for his birthday and that was to receive birthday cards.
"He said he just loved the way reading them made him feel so I got on social media and asked all of my friends if they could mail him birthday cards," Jennifer said.
She said the first year she was expecting about 50 cards but ended up getting a lot more than that.
"We got about 150 cards in the mail and we read them all," Jennifer said. "The entire world jumped on this because we were getting cards from places like Australia!"
Now at the age of 7, Justan still wants birthday cards.
"I just love them," Justan said. "I really do."
Also at the age of 7, and with hundreds of cards coming in the mail, Jennifer's friend, Chris Farmer, a paramedic, got the idea of asking for patches from emergency agencies.
"With the many not-so-good hospital stays of him being sick, he has been a bit scared of ambulances and emergency crews so asking for patches has helped him with his fear," Jennifer said.
The two took to Facebook and in another great response from communities all over Region 8, Justan has received several patches.
"I thank them so much but I can't thank them anymore because it is so much," Justan said.
Jennifer, who is very grateful, said she will continue to take in patch donations so she can make him a blanket for Christmas.
"They gave him something that I couldn't and it's amazing," Jennifer said. "Thank you so much!"
To make a donation of a patch or a card to Justan, his mom said you can mail it to Justin Parker at 62 Debbie Drive Paragould, AR 72450.
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