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Illinois mom asks for birthday cards to surprise son battling rare disease

BUDA, Ill. -- 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 his mother, Bonnie Bauer.

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," Bauer said.

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," Bauer said.

With the disease, life expectancy is anywhere from 16 to 30 years.

"It gets harder as each thing happens, it gets more difficult for us," Bauer said.

For Joey, it's the little things that we take for granted that bring him the most joy.

On Oct. 25, he will turn 13 with a big birthday party on Oct. 22.

The one thing his parents hope to give him at his party 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," Bauer said.

For Bauer, 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.

Send cards to:

Joey Bauer
215 S. Center Street
Buda, IL 61314