CLIFTON, Colo. (KJCT) -- Shirley O’Keefe, of Clifton, is fighting a heart condition and a failing liver.
She was told she wasn't going to see Christmas, but when she did, her next deadline was moved to New Year’s Day.
Shirley is still fighting, and said she is going to make it to the next holiday.
Now, complete strangers are making her fight a little brighter with the gift of Valentine’s Day cards.
"Last year, I was very ill. They didn't think I would make it, and I did," said Shirley.
Shirley suffers from a bad heart and failing kidneys.
"On my dialysis days, it’s really rough on me. I come home very, very tired," she said
Doctors said she may have to stop her dialysis because of her heart problems, meaning she doesn’t know how much longer she will have to live.
"I was looking forward to more time. I live every day and enjoy every day," Shirley said.
But Shirley said she doesn’t let her prognosis define her.
"I told my doctor if I make it to Valentine’s Day, you got to buy me a Valentine’s Day card," Shirley said.
That’s when everything took off. Her niece posted about her aunt's struggle, illness and goal on Facebook.
"And now I’m getting Valentine’s from all over the United States," Shirley said. "It makes me feel warm inside that people remember me and think of me."
The cards just keep coming.
Everyday Shirley checks her mail, and finds more cards being sent to her.
"New York, California…haven’t gotten Nebraska yet but it’s coming,” Shirley said. “And I know people in Georgia, and Alabama, and Kansas.”
Complete strangers are sealing a card with love to make Shirley’s fight a little brighter.
"The guy that takes me to dialysis said he's going tell his wife he can’t get her a Valentine because Shirley is hogging them all,” Shirley said, laughing.
Valentine’s Day cards now line the walls of her home, each with a special message of encouragement and hope.
"And after Valentine’s, I’m going to make it to Easter. And after Easter, I’m going to make it to Mother’s Day. I'm going to live every day," Shirley said.
If you want to send Shirley a Valentine’s Day card, you can mail it to:
3235 Downey Court East Apt# B
Clifton, Colorado 81520