Terminally Ill Teen Wants 10,000 Cards for His 14th Birthday: 'They Make Me Feel Better'
The best medicine for this Arizona teen suffering from terminal illness is 10,000 cards, delivered to him in time for his birthday.
13-year-old Jacob Priestley from Mesa, Arizona, was diagnosed with Mitochondria disease, a life-threatening illness that affects his entire body.
"It's very hard for me to wake up," Priestley said in an interview with KPHO.
He is largely homebound, and as a result of the disease, he is always tired, and hardly has energy. "Sometimes, I just lay in bed and just keep sleeping."
Despite appearing lively on camera and even joking to newscrews, his mom wrote on his Facebook support page that he continues to suffer seizures, and often feels sick and tired.
With his 14th birthday coming up, his mom Britney Priestley said she is determined to give the boy a memorable time.
"Since his disease is terminal, we don't know how many more birthdays he's going to have with us," she said. "We vowed that we would make every birthday bigger and better than last year."
Priestley is appealing to her son's supporters on Facebook to send him one simple gift that costs no more than postage: A birthday card.
"They make me feel better and they just make me happy," Jacob told KPHO.
Last year, his mom made a similar appeal. She posted to Facebook with the aim of reaching a couple hundred cards.
Instead, the boy received 8,000 birthday cards in the mail.
This year, the goal is to receive 10,000 cards by his August 28 birthday.
Since the call for cards earlier this month, Jake's Facebook page announced that they have already received about 125 cards from as far as Australia, China and England.
"He can just see that people love him, and there's no reason to be down," Priestley said, according to KPHO.
Some cards were even sent by prison inmates.
Others were sent by children who also suffer from terminal illnesses.
"I think it gives him a little bond they can share, they know they're not alone," his mom said.
To support Jacob Priestley in his time of need, send birthday cards to the following address:
P.O. Box 855
Queen Creek, AZ 85142