Coalgate teenager receives hundreds of Christmas cards from strangers

COALGATE, Okla. (KXII) -- A Coalgate teenager has been asking for cards for Christmas for about the past seven years.

This year, he's received more than 500 Christmas cards over just the last four days.

They're mostly from complete strangers who heard about his wish.

Sixteen-year-old Steven Cunningham has one thing on his wish list.

"Christmas cards," Cunningham said.

It started with an ad in the newspaper.

"This one's my favorite one," he said.

Then spread to social media.

"It has the beautiful music, and plus I love to do ice skating," Cunningham said.

Hundreds of cards from strangers all over the country addressed to one person.

He's been through a lot at 54 pounds, including eight open heart surgeries.

When he was born, his doctors said he wouldn't live more than six months.

That's due to single ventricle pulmonary stenosis, so he has a stint in his heart and uses a feeding tube. He also doesn't have an immune system.

"We moved to this house," Cunningham said.

It's been a tough year for his family.

His grandpa and his brother died, and they moved to a new town.

"A lot of things," Cunningham said.

Sheila Foster is his younger sister.

"He quite literally takes it like a champ," Foster said.

"You know a Christmas card's not a whole lot to ask for," said mailman Jarod Hatcher.

Cunningham's house is on Hatcher's mail route.

"After the first day, he's been waiting on me at the mailbox every day," Hatcher said.

"It wasn't just people shouting out Merry Christmas, it was people everywhere taking the time to buy and make the card and then send it to him through the mail," Foster said.

But to Cunningham, cards and presents aren't the most important thing about Christmas.

"Sitting at the table, eating food with family," he said.

For someone whose heart is small in size, it sure is big.