Birthday wish comes true for Illinois boy battling a rare disease

BUDA, Illinois - Joey Bauer takes his time opening each card with care, it's the only thing this soon to be 13-year-old wants for his birthday.

"We were hoping for a couple hundred cards to help his birthday and we've gone so way past that," said Bonnie Bauer, Joey's mother.

More than 3,000 cards and counting with boxes coming each day.

"This is what we watch every night now, this is our entertainment, just watching him open cards, look at cards, read cards," said Bauer.

About a year ago Joey was diagnosed with CLN3 Battens disease, a rare genetic mutation in the blood.

Life expectancy is anywhere from age 16 to 30.

Before the disease gets worse, his parents want him to have a birthday to remember.

"As you can see the tears, this is all I've been doing every time we open these cards because it's just unbelievable," said Bauer.

Joey received cards from all over the United States and around the world.

"They have come from Amsterdam, they've come from Barbados, they've come from Italy, Canada, Turkey," said Bauer.

Some cards, with a special meaning for their family.

"My parents, my husbands parents are both gone, so they don't have grandma's and grandpa's so we've gotten quite a few cards that have said from grandma and grandpa," said Bauer.

Joey even received one from another boy battling a life threatening disease.

"He put in there that he did some extra chores around the house so that his mom gave him $5 to send to Joey," said Bauer.

In just two weeks, this family has seen an out pouring of love and support for Joey.

"With all the horrible nasty things going on in the world right now, this shows that there's still a lot of good people in the world," said Bauer.

Joey's birthday party is on October 22nd and his actual birthday is on October 25th.

If you want to send a card you can address it to: Joey Bauer 215 S. Center Street Buda, Illinois 61314.

Below you can hear more from Joey's mom about some of the birthday cards he's received.