CREATED Jun. 17, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Their goal was 1,600 birthday cards for their son Jacob's sweet 16.
When his birthday arrived on Sunday, the Mockbee's living room was decorated with more than 4,600 birthday cards.
"We never imagined it could be anything like this," Jacob's mom Stacie said. "We weren't sure we'd every reach 1,600 cards."
Once the family pulled back the red curtains and revealed to Jacob a room full of cards and gifts, his smile lit up the room.
"Oh my goodness," he said. "Lots of birthday cards."
Jacob was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. His parents say it has been a fight to survive since the day he was born.
"There were several doctors who didn't think he'd make it to his first birthday," Stacie said.
Since 9 On Your Side first shared their story
, the Mockbees have almost tripled their goal. We dropped off another box with more than 300 cards our viewers gave to us to pass on to Jacob.
"We just cannot say thank you enough to Tucson," Stacie said.
But the birthday cards and well-wishes came from all over Arizona, the country and the world.
Both the Phoenix Suns and the University of Arizona basketball team sent signed basketballs.
The Michigan State Police Department sent Jacob a recruit shirt with the name "Mockbee" on it.
And there are cards from countries such as Italy, Sweden and Germany.
There is one autograph, that for Jacob, took the cake.
"What," Jacob shouted, as his parents showed him the signed card from Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis.
"Giada, she signed you a card," Jacob's dad Jeff said.
"Wow," Jacob said.
There were other surprises at Jacob's sweet 16 party, including a visit from the Pima County Sheriff's Department. Deputies gave Jacob cards and gifts before letting him check out one of their motorcycles in the front yard.
Jacob's dad Jeff is a Sergeant for the Tucson Police Department. Many law enforcement agencies from across Southern Arizona and the country sent Jacob cards.
On this Sunday, there was another reason to celebrate in the Mockbee home.
"Thank you for letting me celebrate. I know its your your day," Jacob said. "Happy Father's day, dad."
Jacob's father wouldn't have it any other way.
"I know he's had a long battle, but I know he just continues to have just a positive outlook on life and as a dad that's the best gift I could every get," Jeff said.
His son will continue to smile, with plenty of well-wishes to last him well beyond his next birthday.