Noah Biorkman, 5, Dies of Cancer, After Receiving 1mm Christmas Cards
Five-year-old Noah Biorkman passed away in his South Lyon, Michigan home on Monday, November 23, after a long battle with stage IV neuroblastoma cancer. This little boy, a fighter all the way, touched tens of thousands of hearts and showed us exactly how connected this world has become as a result of the Internet.
Approximately two weeks ago, his mother, Diane Biorkman, posted a note on Noah’s CarePages site that the little boy would be celebrating Christmas early, and if anyone wanted to send a card, it would be greatly appreciated. Noah loved Christmas cards and, just like many kids, receiving real mail.
Word spread through Facebook, Twitter and many blogs. That Tuesday, 64 cards arrived. On Wednesday, 416. Thursday, 2,600. Friday, 5,100. By the end of the week, his mom lost count, but estimated more than 10,000 Christmas cards had arrived for Noah.
“It is just humbling, shocking, incredible, astounding… the outpouring of love for one sick little boy,” Diane Biorkman wrote on her CarePages account.
A Very Special (early) Christmas
The following Friday, Noah enjoyed a visit with Santa Claus, opened presents and played with friends and family members. On Sunday, after Noah took Saturday to rest, the family celebrated Christmas privately, with a fully-decorated tree in their front yard and more presents beneath it. The ear-to-ear smile on Noah’s face, his mother reported, said it all.
On Monday, the Biorkmans woke up to 80,000 Christmas cards. The post office even delivered mail to the house on Veterans Day. No one could have imagined the outpouring of support for this little boy – least of all his mother, who had to ask that people stop sending cards. She had no place to put them all and needed to focus on caring for Noah in what would be his last days. In total, Noah received more than one million Christmas cards.
Noah’s Legacy Can Live On
“The outpouring of love and compassion has been remarkable and we are extremely grateful,” his mother posted on her CarePages blog. She requested that people respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
In lieu of cards or flowers, Noah’s mother has requested that anyone wishing to show their support to please make a donation in Noah’s name to the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics and Oncology or to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Michigan (addresses posted below).
“With your donation, Noah’s legacy will live on for many years to come, if not forever,” his mother said in her most recent – and possibly final – CarePages post. “Thank you so much for your support and love.”
Please send donations to the following:
Department of Pediatrics and Oncology
University of Michigan
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5718
Checks payable to: The University of Michigan – Noah’s Pediatric Oncology Fund
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan
230 Huron View Blvd.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
Checks payable to: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan – Memo: Noah Biorkman