Many, many happy returns: 30,000 birthday cards for Down’s Syndrome man

A man with Down’s syndrome in France got 30,000 cards from around the world for his 30th birthday, after his mother put out a call on Facebook that went viral. By the time Manuel Parisseaux’s birthday rolled around on Saturday, so many letters had arrived that his family in Calais, northern France had to store them in a neighbour’s garage. It all started on Nov. 3 when Manuel’s mother, a childcare worker, told her husband they would be “going all out to celebrate” Manuel’s birthday this year. She then posted a message on her husband’s Facebook page, hoping a few people would take notice — her status was then shared more than 120,000 times.

I don’t understand why it got so big. Manuel is like us, he is moved to tears.

Jacqueline Parisseaux, Manuel’s mother

The cards came by the dozens at first, but then hundreds began to arrive. Soon, the letter carrier couldn’t deliver all the cards and they began to come by truck. Parisseaux said the family received cards from Sri Lanka, Chicago and Hong Kong, among other places, and that the mail included boxes of chocolate, key chains and even cakes. The family is working to sort through all the cards and have promised to keep every one of them, although they may not be able to respond to all.

I thank you all for your gesture, which will make my Manu so happy.

Jacqueline Parisseaux, in her viral Facebook post