TEMPLE, Texas – A local five-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder is hoping you can make his birthday a little brighter this year.

“I did not expect anything like this to turn out. Our community is just amazing,” says Todd Cavanaugh, Austin’s father.

Austin Cavanaugh is turning six years old on November 25th, and the Temple community is making sure this year will be a special one.

“He’s had 20 plus surgeries so far – from the mass in his brain to the cleft pallet repair – he’s had three hernias, a bunch of other things,” Todd says.

Austin Jak has a rare genetic disorder called Emanuel Syndrome.

“It affects his 11th and 22nd chromosome,” Todd says.

“There are only 500 people in the world with Emanuel Syndrome. It’s very rare,” says Deanna Cavanaugh, Austin’s mom.

In Austin’s first five years, he’s already overcome many challenges.

“He is very resilient. He doesn’t let anything hold him back,” Todd says.

Many people have already wished him a happy birthday.

“We already got a lot of cards and gifts come in,” Deanna says.

And his family would welcome your wishes, as well.

“The town is doing a whole birthday parade for him. I’m just blown away by the support.”

This parade will be at 5:30 p.m. on November 25th on Hopi Trail in Temple.

Emanuel Syndrome Awareness Day is November 22nd, and the Cavanaugh family is asking everyone to wear purple and blue.

If you would like to send Austin a birthday card, you can mail one to:
Austin Jak
3702 Hopi Trail
Temple, TX, 76504