FAYETTEVILLE, Tennessee — Imagine the whole world coming together to wish you a "happy birthday!"
Well, that was the case for one four-year-old up in Fayetteville, Tennessee, a global phenomenon all made possible by his mother and the internet.
A smile from Axl means the world to his mother, Lauren Porter.
"He's my little miracle child. He's my best friend," Lauren says.
So for Axl's fourth birthday this year, Lauren is gifting her son the world.
"I know with older kids for birthday parties, if nobody shows up, it's heartbreaking. And with him, he's not old enough to fully understand that nobody has shown up."
Lauren took to the internet to see if putting out a request for birthday cards would get any responses and boy, did it ever.
"By day two we had received mail and I just started crying. I didn't expect all this to happen. We had asked for birthday cards and people went above and beyond our expectations," Lauren says.
News of Axl's birthday spread like frosting on a cake, "we have seen a lot... we have seen not just the country but the entire world, just in a different view, you know, like it brings hope to what the world has been going through," Lauren shares.
They've received cards from all 50-states and cards from overseas, "this one is from the U.K., this one came from the Netherlands. We've gotten so many of them from Canada, we've gotten one from australia."
It's gotten to the point where the mail doesn't even fit in the mailbox.
"Honestly, he loves it. He loves seeing everything, ripping open all the mail," she adds, "it's been one of the better things that's come into his life."
Axl was born prematurely without an esophagus and underwent several surgeries throughout his first nine months of life.
"He was in the NICU for quite a while. He's gone through liver failure. He's gone through countless other surgeries."
By the age of two, Axl was diagnosed with autism.
"We got him seen by a specialist at Vanderbilt to fully comprehend what we were going through with him," Lauran shares.
Health challenges came early and often for Axl but even though he can't speak, Axl has a way of telling you that everything is alright.
"We saw him smile for the first time at four days old. The day he went in for his very first surgery. He smiled so big. And I realized that was going to be his trademark throughout life was that big smile," Lauren says.
A smile from Axl, now seen around the world, a birthday to remember.
"I want to make sure that he knows and understands the importance of his birthday…people do care about him," Lauren says.