Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Marah Gibbons is putting the finishing touches on the piles of Christmas cards she’s sending to Canadian soldiers stationed overseas.

“Every year I make it my mission to do more. Last year was 480, and I exceeded that this year by about 300,” the Wingham, Ont. teen told CTV News London.

Gibbons has written 771 Christmas cards to soldiers stationed internationally this holiday season.

She said she does it because she knows what it’s like to spend Christmas away from the ones you love.

“I was in hospital with leukemia over Christmas in 2020. It was COVID. We had nothing to do because we were stuck in a room. So, I started writing military cards,” the 16-year-old Gibbons explained.

Marah Gibbons in hospital receiving leukemia treatments in December 2020. (Source: Gibbons family)

After more than five months in hospital, and multiple more rounds of treatment, Gibbons’ leukemia is now in remission, but that hasn’t stopped her Christmas campaign, which she starts working on in October.

“I write ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Wingham’ in each card. And then I write a personalized note or inspirational quote in every single one. Every single card is different,” she said.

Marah Gibbons of Wingham, Ont. has written 771 Christmas cards to Canadian military members serving overseas this Christmas. She knows what it’s like to be away from family over the holidays, after spending Christmas 2020 in hospital fighting leukemia. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

Canadian soldiers stationed in places like Jerusalem, Germany, Bahrain and Cyprus will receive a Christmas card from Marah Gibbons this year.

The Canadian government pays the postage, but it is Gibbons taking the time and effort to remember those who might feel forgotten so far away from family over the holidays.

“It’s kind of calming knowing that they’re going somewhere special and each soldier is probably going to keep that,” said Gibbons. 

Marah Gibbons of Wingham, Ont. has written 771 Christmas cards to Canadian military members serving overseas this Christmas. She knows what it’s like to be away from family over the holidays, after spending Christmas 2020 in hospital fighting leukemia. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

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