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Boise teen fighting cancer gets thousands of birthday cards

Posted at 10:31 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 01:01:31-04

The mailbox for 15-year- Jorge Ibanez-Ruiz is about to burst. It is filled with hundreds and hundreds of postcards, get-well-soon cards and birthday cards.

"Thank you," said the shy teen.

Jorge is fighting Osteosarcoma -- a rare type of bone cancer. He's been undergoing chemo therapy at St. Luke's Children's Hospital. But on Wednesday, for his birthday, he is back home, surrounded by loved ones and cards. His family had asked the public to mail him cards to show Jorge people care. 

"He's more stronger now with everybody behind him, pulling for him, praying for him," said Sidney Donaldson, Jorge's stepdad. "He's more stronger every day." 

His mom estimates there are more than 2,000 of them, and they have arrived from everywhere from the Treasure Valley to his native country of Peru, and beyond. Some have also sent gifts, including an iPad. Jorge has also made some new friends

"You really do get a sense of how great people really are," said Reverand Kelly Clifton, who has become friends with Jorge since he learned about his cancer. 

While Jorge may have had a birthday he will never forget, his fight is not over. On September 21, he is undergoing a surgery to remove a tumor. With all the support behind him, his family knows he is not fighting alone. 

"Thank you around Idaho. Thank you people around the country. Thank you. We love you guys, and thank you," said Donaldson.

You can still mail cards to Jorge. Just send them to 2837 West Malad St., Boise, ID 83705.