Max Vertin is your typical 8-year-old – he likes pizza, collecting bugs and watching baseball. There’s just one thing that’s different about him than the average person: Max has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare disease that eats away at the muscles. Unfortunately, the disease runs in his family, as his brothers Charlie and Rowen also have it.
“First of all, it’s hard for all three of them to do things. You know they walked late, they ran late. Taking medicine helps them run and jump,” explained Betty Vertin, their mother.
This week, the family has had a change of luck, experiencing some good fortune, to say the least. They have been treated to parties, rides in limousines, and on Tuesday, Max was able to live out a dream of his: he got to fly just like his favorite superhero, Iron Man! Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Vertins traveled from their home in Nebraska to Colorado, where they visited SkyVenture Colorado. While there, the company gave Max and his family the chance to fly in a special indoor wind tunnel. Max’s mom couldn’t help but be overwhelmed to tears… happy tears!
“He deserves a few days to just be a kid,” she said.
Max’s older sister Lexi agrees with her mother. “This is awesome. This is the break we needed. It’s nice not be at the doctor’s and getting them shots. We can just have fun.”
While at SkyVenture, Max was given the surprise of a lifetime: a visit from Iron Man himself, who brought the 8-year-old a superhero suit of his own. When Max and the family left the festivities, a crowd cheered, holding up signs that renamed him, reading, “Iron Max.” Catchy!
Photo Credit: Brennan Linsey/AP