BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A little boy from Prairieville with a rare genetic disorder has gotten the attention of the world.
A simple gesture by his community has now grown into a huge campaign to help others battling the same thing.
Jack Loeber, 3, likes what most kids his age do. He enjoys watching Mickey Mouse on television, playing with toy cars and trucks. His parents Jason and Hillary Loeber said it doesn't take much to make him smile.
"Laughter is really contagious with him. Most kids freak out when you drop a book, or pot or pan. He thinks it's hysterical," Hillary Loeber said.
Watching him in action you wouldn't know Jack suffers from a rare genetic disorder called PACS1 Syndrome. Only 50 people in the world have it. Jack is the only one in Louisiana. His mother said he was only diagnosed last December.
"We could first breathe. The worry and the fear we knew has diminished some. We can plan better with the diagnosis, you have a prognosis," Hillary Loeber said.
Jack has delayed motor skills and sensory issues. His parents said he throws tantrums sometimes and has a hard time communicating. But they said a team of doctors and therapists have helped him make noticeable progress. He knows how to get his family's attention, especially his big sister Anna Grace.
"I love when he argues with his sister because that's typical and normal in every family and that's a sense of calming to have that every day bicker among siblings," Hillary Loeber said.
His dad, though, knows how get him to settle down. Jack loves playing with cars. But there's nothing quite like seeing real one's in action.
"I get home from work, I get a hug from him, and a few minutes later he's got his face pressed against the back door and that's my cue that hey it's time to go for a walk," Jason Loeber said.
For the last four months Jack's family has taken a stroll to the foot of their subdivision on Highway 44. There is no denying the sight of cars makes Jack light up. When someone blows the horn, his reaction is priceless.
Folks with the Louisiana street racers car club took note and created an event on Facebook called Honk for Jack to get people to parade in front of his neighborhood and honk their horns. It grew from one hundred cars to an estimated 500 expected to roll on Sunday.
"For so many people to come out and show so much support and take their personal time just to put a smile on a little boy's face that they don't even know, it's incredible," Jason Loeber said.
The Loebers' insurance is covering everything and they don't need any donations, but they do hope this outpouring of support helps other families who may be lost or unsure of the rare diagnosis.
"If there's parents at home going what we went through we hope this helps create awareness where they can get the testing done and get the sense of direction," Hillary Loeber said.
The Loebers have certainly found that. Jack's vocabulary may be limited but, the look on his face says it all.
Cars participating in Honk for Jack will be meeting at the Walmart parking lot on Airline Hwy in Prairieville on Sunday at 10 am. At 10:30 am they will leave Walmart and go south on Airline, then turn left on Hwy 42. Go down Hwy 42. Turn right onto Hwy 44 (right after this turn Jack will be on the right). The parade will proceed down Hwy 44 to the Cabela's in Gonzales. There will be a car meet, where Jack and his parents will meet so he can look at the cars, sit in them etc. Visit the Honk for Jack Facebook Page for more information.