BUDA, Illinois - For Joey Bauer each day is a gift.
"We never know from day to day whether he's gonna be able to walk again when he gets out of bed the next morning," said Bonnie Bauer, mother.
About a year ago he was diagnosed with CLN3 Battens Disease, a rare genetic mutation in the blood.
"It will eventually cause juvenile Alzheimer, bed-ridden, blind, feeding tube," said Bauer.
It's been a long battle trying to get a diagnosis after almost losing him two years ago.
"He had a grand mal seizure, we lost him, he turned blue, got him back, we were in the hospital we've been fighting back forth trying to figure out what`s wrong with him," said Bauer.
With the disease, life expectancy is anywhere from age 16 to 30.
"It gets harder as each thing happens, it gets more difficult for us," said Bauer.
For Joey, it's the little things that we take for granted that bring him the most joy.
On October 25th, 2017 he will be turning 13 with a big birthday party on October 22nd.
The one thing his parents hope to give him at his part on October 22nd is hundreds of birthday cards to open.
"We decided this year, if all else fails, if nothing else, we want to see how many cards we can get for him for his birthday party," said Bauer.
For Bonnie, she knew Joey and his brother were special gifts when they adopted them seven years ago after being their foster parents, "He's part of our family now, you ask any of our kids," she said.
She hopes to be flooded with cards to surprise him with and bring him joy on his big day.
If you'd like to send a card, you can address it here:
215 S. Center Street
Buda, Illinois 61314