- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

FOUNTAIN GREEN, Utah (AP) - A tiny rural town in Utah put on its first-ever Christmas light parade this week in the latest gesture aimed at making the holidays special for a dying little girl.

Addie Fausett, 6, watched the parade of floats Tuesday night in front of the small post office in Fountain Green, Utah, the Deseret News reports (http://bit.ly/13wnGBE ).

It’s there where nearly 300,000 Christmas cards from around the world have arrived in the last month for Addie, whose story had garnered attention across the country.

Addie has an undiagnosed illness that has halted her growth since she was 3 and is now causing cerebral atrophy. Doctors say she has less than one year to live.

She hardly talks anymore, struggles to walk and sleep and weighs less than 25 pounds. She can’t play with other kids because her illness causes behavior problems.

Her grandmother came up with the idea to ask people from around the globe to send her Christmas cards to cheer Addie up. Days before the first Facebook post by grandma Maree Jensen, Addie told her mom she wanted friends like her two older sisters and to be able to laugh and play.

Cards, letters and gifts have arrived from across the country and world - exceeding even the wildest expectations her family had when they came up with the idea. The flood of mail has been so much that the Fountain Green post office has had to get help from nearby post offices to sort it all.

In addition to colorful cards, letters, stuffed animals and toys there have been monetary donations. Those have helped the family plan a dream trip for Addie: to Sea World in San Diego.

Addie’s mom, Tami Fausett, was touched by the parade - which capped off a whirlwind month for the family. She held Addie, bundled up in a white blanket, as the floats went by on main street in Fountain Green, population 1,000. It is about a 1 ½-hour drive south from Salt Lake City.

“I think it is really awesome that so many people want to come and do this, and so many people showed up to watch as well,” Tami Fausett said.

Fountain Green resident Nathan Beck, whose family made two floats for the parade, said witnessing the community rally around Addie has restored his faith in humanity.

“I think it has changed the way people think about Christmas in this little town,” Beck said.

Most of the floats were modest, made with a few lights and decorations, but it was still quite an event for the tiny community.

“I just worked with what I had, bought a few lights made a little float for her, put her name on it,” said resident Jerry Beck. “We love her.”

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Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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