BRIGHTON, Mich. (WXYZ) - "Did I get anything?"
It's the question 10-year-old Dominic Tyner asks his parents everyday, when they check the mailbox at their Brighton home.
Next to Legos and Minecraft, there's nothing Dominic loves more than getting mail.
His mom, Danya has even considered sending her son anonymous notes in the mail, just to see the joy it brings to his face.
Instead, she's asking you to.
Dominic, who suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis (EE) and complex 1 mitochondrial disease, turns 11 on March 27.
EE prevents Dominic from eating an ever-growing list of foods like dairy, wheat, gluten, oats or pork. If he does, his body attacks his esophagus resulting in severe pain. Unmanaged, it could spread, causing damage to his heart, brain, liver and other major organs.
To add insult to injury, complex 1 mitochondrial disease doesn't allow Dominic's cells to create sufficient energy from the food he can eat. Mictochodrial disease is degenerative and could potentially cause death.
Last year, his fragile state forced the Tyner's to make a tough decision - they would keep their son homebound.
"[He's] a very social kid," Dominic Sr. told me over the phone, "[But] he just kept getting sick, being around that many kids," continued Danya.
And when Dominic gets sick, "he always ends up in the hospital."
In 2013, a stomach bug made their son so sick, the Tyner's didn't know if they'd ever bring him back home.
Now unable to leave home, Dominic's conditions make an 11th birthday party almost impossible.
"We tried to organize one through our church, but how do you tell people not to come if they're sick?" Dominic Sr. asked rhetorically.
Inevitably friendships have dwindled for their son.
Despite the challenges, the Tyner's are determined to make this birthday a memorable one for the boy they describe as "probably the coolest kid [ever]."
They're asking the public to send a card or note to Dominic on his special day. They plan to pile the cards around their mailbox then casually ask Dominic to check the mail.
"He's going to flip out!" I exclaimed to the Tyner's.
With an excited chuckle, they agreed.
Now they'll just wait to see if metro Detroit delivers.
Birthday notes and cards can be sent to Dominic Tyner at PO Box 1627, Brighton, Michigan 48116.
A Facebook page supporting the Tyner's effort and further educating the public on Dominic's diseases has been created at www.facebook.com/tynertornado .
Additional information can be found at www.rarediseaseday.org . Rare Disease Day is February 28.