Rare Diseases

Terminally ill teen wants 100,000 cards to celebrate birthday

An Arizona teen with a terminal illness wants to mark his upcoming August 28 birthday with 100,000 cards from supporters around the world. Jacob Priestley, who has mitochondrial disease, said doing so would help raise awareness for the illness that drains him of his energy and is slowly shutting down parts of his body.

“Eventually, it’s going to take over the heart,” Tom Priestley, the 14-year-old’s father, told The Denver Channel.

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Priestly said he’s overwhelmed by the support that he’s already received from well-wishers.

“It’s amazing,” he told The Denver Channel. “I don’t know how to explain… it’s heartwarming.”

The family has set up a P.O Box for Priestly, and those who wish to participate are instructed to send cards to:

Jacob Priestly

P.O. Box 855

Queen Creek, AZ 85142

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While there is no cure for mitochondrial disease, Priestly and his dad said they’re taking it one day at a time.

“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,” Tom Priestly told The Denver Channel. “We’ll get through this.”