(CNN) – Jacob Priestley looks forward to his birthday all year long. Reading birthday cards gives him a reason to smile.
Jacob said, “It’s amazing. I don’t know how to explain – it’s heartwarming.”
Jacob turns 15 in August. But he faces an uphill battle to get there. Jacob has mitochondrial disease. It drains him of all energy and leaves him bed-bound.
The disease shuts down parts of his body. There’s no cure.
Jacob’s dad, Tom Priestley, said, “Eventually, it’s going to take over the heart.”
Jacob has one wish: to get 100,000 birthday cards.
A stack of well-wishes from all over the country have already come in.
Tom said, “His overall goal is to use his name and who he is, devote his life to trying to raise awareness, so we can find a cure for it.”
At 14, Jacob has already defied the odds. He plans to make each day count.
Tom said, “We’re just going to put a smile on our face, go through life, and say – throw what you got at me because we got each other. We’ll get through this.”
They hope that with each card, there’s more awareness of mitochondrial disease, and more reason for Jacob to smile.
If you’d like to send a birthday card, the family asks that you send it to:
P.O. Box 855
Queen Creek, Arizona 85142
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