Hundreds of children at Kauai County's Summer Enrichment sites have sent postcards to a woman from Michigan who is battling cancer.

Kids send aloha
to cancer patient

Postcards from Kauai
are on their way to
the Michigan woman

Irene Beelman should keep a close eye on her mailbox. It's going to be stuffed pretty soon.

The Saginaw, Mich., woman who is battling cancer has hundreds of postcards heading her way, thanks to a bunch of Kauai keiki and a few helpful government employees in Michigan and Kauai.

Prompted by a letter from a Saginaw city employee, Kauai officials asked students involved in the county's summer enrichment program to send some aloha to the woman who is recovering from a bone marrow transplant.

Kids from around the island pitched in, sending 250 postcards full of personal drawings and notes to the city in central Michigan with a population similar to Kauai. More postcards are expected soon.

The Kauai Office of Economic Development picked up the tab for all those stamps, officials said.

Because she was recovering from surgery for an aggressive form of cancer, Beelman and her family had to cancel a trip to Hawaii that they had been planning for two years, according to a letter from a Saginaw city employee who works with Beelman's husband, Jay.

The letter, to Kauai County officials, asked for some pictures or a brochure that might help her spirits as she recovers.

Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste got the letter and dispatched county workers to assemble and send a Kauai gift basket that included a copy of the Kauai Movie Book and a DVD of the movie "Six Days/Seven Nights," which was filmed on Kauai. Sue Kanoho of the Kauai Visitors Bureau also sent a Kauai gift basket, and a local retailer pitched in with 700 postcards for the kids.

"It's touching to see these young children reach out to someone they've never met," Baptiste said in a press release. "Their notes and drawings are precious, and I'm sure it will mean a lot to someone who is ailing thousands of miles away."

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