What did you wish for when you were 14? A bike? A puppy, maybe? The newest video game?Jacob Priestly wants something a little more simple. Some birthday cards. Alright not some birthday cards. He's looking for 100,000 birthday cards. But why?
Jacob Priestly is currently battling a terminal illness called mitochondrial disease.
“It’s very tiring. It drains my energy. I’m basically bed-bound,” Jacob said.
Little by little, the disease shuts down Jacob's body. There is no cure for mitochondrial disease.
"Eventually, it's going to take over the heart," said Jacob's father, Tom.
Jacob is turning 15 years old in August, and he looks forward to his birthday every year. But it's not the presents or the cake he likes. It's the birthday cards.
"It's amazing. I don't know how to explain...it's heartwarming," Jacob says.
Jacob's dad posted about his birthday wish with the following message:
"Please help us spread the word about my son Jacob's birthday wish! Jacob has a terminal disease. Jacob has never had friends. Having autism makes it really hard for him to have friends. And then getting sick and not being able to do anything like all the other kids.
That is, until last year when we started this card thing. And he felt like he finally had friends."
Continue reading to see how many cards Jacob has already received, and how you can send one his way!
“Since his disease is terminal, we don’t know how many more birthdays he’s going to have with us,” Jacob’s mother, Britney Priestley, said. “We vowed that we would make every birthday bigger and better than last year.”
Last year, Jacob's mom posted about his wish for cards, but she never expected the response.
Nearly 30,000 cards made their way to Jacob's hands.
“It exploded,” Priestley said. “We went Arizona viral. That’s when we got about 8,000 cards. It was great.”
He's gotten cards from Australia, China, England, and the United States and Jacob says they all feels special.
“They make me feel better and they just make me happy,” Jacob said.
Jacob's hope is to raise awareness for mitochondrial disease with the hope of helping other kids who suffer by finding a cure.
If you would like to send a card to Jacob Priestley for his 15th birthday, this is the address.
PO Box 855
Queen Creek, AZ