Disabled Boy Who ‘Had Given Up On Life’ Gets 3000 Birthday Cards From Strangers

by : Julia Banim on :
Rhys Bolton Birthday Cards Mum TanyaSWNS/Tanya Williams/Facebook

A young teenager who said he had ‘had enough of life’ has been left delighted after receiving 3,000 birthday cards from well-meaning strangers.

13-year-old Rhys from Bolton, Lancashire, was left feeling low due to living with a life-limiting condition known as epidermolysis bullosa. This painful condition causes blistering and sores on Rhys’ skin, and has even resulted in his fingers fusing together.


After Rhys confided in mother Tanya about how unhappy he was feeling, the dedicated mum decided to take action to show her son how good life could be.

Rhys Bolton Birthday Cards Mum TanyaSWNS

Ahead of Rhys’ 14th birthday later this month, Tanya appealed for people to send him cards in a bid to cheer him up.

The response was overwhelming, with the family receiving over 3,000 cards from well-wishers from across the globe.


Tanya has since described Rhys as being ‘in his element’, with he and his best friend enjoying opening and reading every single card.

According to Tanya:

It’s just been crazy. A post van came today with stuff for Rhys, it’s just been mad. I’ve had thousands of messages on Facebook , people turning up at the door.

I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, but Rhys is in his element. He’s at home opening the cards with his best friend. He is absolutely loving it.

He is opening each card and reading it, and he’s got his friend opening them too. He is taking his time with each one which is why it is taking so long. He’s just so overwhelmed with it.

Wanna say a massive thank you to everyone for todays haul we are gradually plowing through it xx

Posted by Tanya Williams on Friday, September 6, 2019


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Tanya has received numerous kind messages from organisations wanting to do their bit to bring Rhys some well-deserved happiness.

Bolton Wanderers have even asked Rhys to act as their mascot. Despite being a Liverpool fan, Rhys is still said to be pleased by the offer.

Tanya continued:

It’s gone world wide. He’s been on telly in Chile. He got a card from Qatar today, and loads from America. It’s just gone everywhere.

I just want to say thank you. That’s all I can really say at the moment, I’m so overwhelmed by it all.

He’s sitting at home opening cards with his best friend and he is really, really happy.

Rhys Bolton Birthday Cards Mum TanyaSWNS

Last year, UNILAD spoke with Rod and Kerry White, the parents of a little boy called Mason who also suffered from EB.

Describing Mason’s skin as being as ‘fragile as a butterfly’s wing’, Rod and Kerry are fundraising to support research into this condition. You can support their appeal here

UNILAD wishes Rhys a very happy birthday.


If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, child


Tanya Williams/Facebook
  1. Tanya Williams/Facebook

    Tanya Williams/Facebook