SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - An eastern Kentucky boy who won over the hearts of hundreds of thousands this holiday season has died.
Dalton Dingus had one wish, to collect Christmas cards, but that wish soon grew into a nationwide movement known as Cards for Dalton.
Volunteers began delivering hundreds of thousands of cards from all across the nation to his home.
On Christmas Eve alone he received nearly 200,000 cards and packages including those close to home.
“All of us got, I don't know how many cards we sent from the church,” said local Pastor, Phillip Puckett.
And for the small town of Salyersville, Kentucky, Dalton became a symbol of Christmas hope.
“The stories that you would read and who these cards were coming from, a lot of them were simple “get well” but a lot of them were from folks who had lost children with cystic fibrosis and children themselves with cystic fibrosis,” said volunteer Ritt Mortimer.
But during the New Year the 9 year old's illness began to get the best of him.
Saturday night, while in hospice care, Dalton lost his fight to Cystic Fibrosis, and a family and community mourn his loss.
“Somebody that young; it really affects you more than if it was someone older,” said Puckett.
A countless number of people will never forget the joy his one wish gave.
“I don't think, even with all the cards that little boy had and got to see come to his house every day, I don’t think he or anyone else could understand just what he has meant to a whole lot of people all around this world,” said Mortimer.
He was a child that spent his last days touching the lives of so many.
Dalton's funeral services will be held at Magoffin County Funeral Home.
Visitation is scheduled for Monday night at 6 and all day Tuesday.
The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 o’clock.