Viewers respond to Courthouse Candyman's story with handwritten cards

- For ten years, rain or shine, Rick Johnson sang and sold M&M’s to attorneys at the Harris County Criminal Courthouse. When he went missing, attorneys who tracked him down discovered it was because he had cancer.

Fox 26 Reporter Angela Chen brought you his story last week, and many of you responded by sending cards and DVDs to him, enough to fill a large box in just a few days’ time.

But when we visited Rick, he was not the same as when we saw him last.

His stage 4 colon cancer has taken away his voice, the one he used to bring so much joy to people at the courthouse. But though his body is weak, his family says his spirit still breaks through at times.

“The past few days, he has regressed quite a bit, but his spirit is still up, and he's still active. Every time the door swings open, and another voice comes in, he seems to recognize it, and he pops up. Then he'll go back into a nod,” said Carlton Johnson, Rick's brother.

Carlton and friends read some of the cards to him.

“You hold a special place in God's heart and a special purpose in this world,” said Carlton, reading from one of the cards.

The power of strangers’ words – and seeing the movie “Jumper” in the DVD collection -- brought out an unexpected smile from Rick.

Though his moments of expression are rare, his brother said he will read aloud all of the handwritten notes, the ones that come from a place of compassion and love and generosity and that they will read into the night, every night, so Rick knows how much he is loved.

Rick is in hospice care right now. If you'd still like to send a card or DVD, feel free to do so. The Fox 26 staff will deliver every single one.

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