Oklahoma Girl's Birthday Wish Answered By Law Enforcement, Receives Hundreds Of Letters
OKAY, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma eight-year-old's birthday was made special thanks to law enforcement across America and the world.
All she wanted was cards from her heroes, and they responded in a big way.
All McKinleigh wanted for her birthday, was a letter. One turned into hundreds - from all over the world.
"I wanted birthday cards in the mail," McKinleigh said.
It was a simple wish for 2nd grader McKinleigh from Okay. Mom and Pre-K teacher Amanda Merrill was surprised, but took to Facebook for some help.
"I didn't expect but maybe 20," she said.
The post grew and law enforcement from all over Oklahoma began asking for people to send letters to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in Muskogee.
On Monday, McKinleigh turned eight. She was surprised all day long at school by the law enforcement she looks up to as she got gifts and treats.
Now, she has enough cards to fill her family's pickup truck, stamped with department return addresses from California, Tennessee, Florida, even some as far away as England.
"She felt overwhelmed," Merrill said. "She had the biggest smile on her face and was so happy."
McKinleigh hasn't had an easy eight years. She wasn't breathing when she was born. She also suffers from Stage-2 kidney disease. Most recently, she was diagnosed with Complex Motor Stereotypies, which causes involuntary movements.
"She struggles every day, but doesn't show it," Merrill said. "She's very strong and she don't ever let you know anything's wrong."
So this day means everything to little McKinleigh.
"There's magic in you," McKinleigh read from one of her cards.
She says she's not sure if next year will be able to top this.