Normally, mail from a stranger is considered junk. But, for the Kemp family's household in San Diego, it's considered treasure.
Sara Kemp’s family has gotten about 200 postcards from across the world over the past few months.
“It gave us something to think about besides the fact that our lives are forever altered,” she said.
The cards are for her 12-year-old son, Jorden, who’s faced an uphill battle from the start. He was born with a chromosome abnormality that doctors told his parents they’d never seen.
“They told us he'd never sit, stand, walk, crawl -- that he'd never throw or catch a ball. He does all of that,” said Sara.
Jorden beat the odds for 12 years until this past April when he stopped breathing, and paramedics rushed him to Rady Children’s Hospital.
Then, at the hospital, Jorden’s heart stopped for 10 minutes before doctors and nurses brought him back. Doctors later determined the problem stemmed from a twisted intestine. Jorden would spend 120 days at Rady Children's Hospital and undergo five surgeries.
All Jorden’s parents wanted to do was make their son feel better.
"So my husband came in one day and said, 'Jordan needs postcards,'" said Sara.
Her husband has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 20 years, and she describes them as a "postal family."
"That's where we met, at the post office. My mom's a retired mail carrier. Instead of playing slug bug, we play the mailman game,” she said.
So, they put out a message on Facebook asking people to send postcards to Jorden. Family, friends, and strangers from all over the world delivered.
A map full of pins on the wall in Jorden’s room shows where the cards have come from, including as far away as Kenya and Australia.
"It's amazing to us, places we've never been, never heard of," said Sara.
Some have messages of encouragement. Others have pictures his mom says make Jorden laugh.
Jorden is back home from the hospital, and his mom said he's back to being the same kid he was before April. The postcards may be a big reason why.
"You know, it heals your soul," she explained. "It heals your spirit to know that someone else is taking a minute."
If you’d like to send Jorden a card, mail it to:
260 Buena Creek Rd.
San Marcos, CA