A Birthday Surprise Like No Other

A grandma’s simple request to friends and family on social media resulted in the birthday surprise of a lifetime for 11-year-old cancer fighter, Ryleigh Williams.

Ryleigh’s grandma, Michelle Williams Boggus, turned to Facebook in hopes that people would send Ryleigh birthday cards while she was in Atlanta for cancer treatment.

Michelle’s post touched the hearts of many and went viral. Soon, birthday wishes for Ryleigh came pouring in from all over the state beginning with the Fort Valley Public Safety Department. Officers drove to Atlanta to personally extend birthday greetings and hand deliver a card, T-shirts and other gifts.

Support for Ryleigh had grown so fast that Kattie Williams, House Manager at the House near Egleston, set up all the gifts in our Community Room to surprise her.

When Ryleigh entered the Community Room, she was speechless to see her family, friends, staff, visitors and more gifts than she could imagine.

“Kattie tricked me,” Mom Staci says. “She asked if I wanted her to keep a couple boxes in her office, we were so surprised to see boxes and cards everywhere!

“A lot of people sent handmade cards and the singing cards made her laugh. One lady reached out to ask me because she saw Ryleigh liked tie-dye. She tie-dyed her a purple shirt, and put Stranger Things on it. Ryleigh loved it!”

“Ryleigh is still in shock. She received thousands, not hundreds, of cards, boxes and packages,” Staci says. “She got some from every state, and countries including Ireland, Iceland and Puerto Rico.”

Ryleigh’s grandma is amazed at the overwhelming response from her Facebook post. “I just thought my close friends and family would send stuff,” she said.

“I sit back and think, ‘Wow, all these people care about my kid who they’ve never even met,” Staci says. “It made us happy.”

“Ryleigh and I were overjoyed with the outpouring of love that she received from people all over the world. The people who work here at the Ronald McDonald House really went above and beyond for us. There are not enough thank yous in the world to express how thankful we are for the love they,