Dalton Dingus was a 9-year-old eastern Kentucky boy battling stage 4 cystic fibrosis, a disease that made it nearly impossible for him to breathe. Dalton took 18 different medications a day and wore a face mask to help him breathe. In spite of all that, he had a dream of beating the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most Christmas cards in 2012, and many Paul Mitchell Schools did their best to make his dream come true.
Sadly, Dalton succumbed to his illness – but not before achieving his dream. He received more than 700,000 cards in a few short weeks, including 30,000 letters delivered on Christmas Eve.
"It's just been the best Christmas ever," Dalton's mother Jessica Dingus told ABC News before his death. "He's excited for the first time in a long time. He's smiling more. He's laughing more, he's beginning to become how he was two years ago. I think just knowing people really do care for him, that the cards let him know people love him, it has all helped."
It remains to be seen whether Dalton's name will appear in the record books. The last official Guinness record for a Christmas card category was in 1992, for 205,120 cards by Canadian Jarrod Booth.
"At this time, there has been no formal record application made with Guinness World Records for this particular attempt," spokeswoman Jamie Panas told ABC News. If the application is submitted, Ms. Panas said they will consider reopening "a designation for his feat."
Watch Paul Mitchell The School Cincinnati's video greeting to Dalton: