Wheels for Mighty Max

This is Mighty Max.

He was born with Cerebral Palsy, and inextinguishable optimism. Once when asked by Santa what he wanted for Christmas, he responded from the confinement of his wheelchair that he would like a pogo stick.

And then there was the RipStick. When he saw one for the first time at a park, he asked the boy riding it if he could have a turn. Unable to walk or stand, his mother managed to lift and balance him onto it for a moment, before setting him back into his wheelchair while he proudly declared, “Well, I’m pretty much an expert.”

I’m telling you, inextinguishable optimism. 

Last fall, when told that he would be playing on a Miracle League baseball team, Max had just two questions: Would his games be broadcast on ESPN, and would Ellen give away tickets to them on her show? It wasn’t and she didn't, but that didn’t stop him from promising the small handful of spectators when he arrived a game-winning home run, and autographs afterward. 

Max is a joy.

But caring for him is no easy task. His impaired motor function, limited cognitive abilities and confinement to a wheelchair require constant care. Max’s father is a South Jordan police officer who works two additional jobs, and his mother works as a dental hygienist at three different offices. They balance four jobs between them, in addition to the care of Max and their other two children, to be able to afford such “luxuries” as a wheelchair ramp for their home and medical bills for their son. They receive no government subsidies for his care. 

Since Max was born, I have watched his parents work, serve and sacrifice, but never complain or ask for help. As he grows older, it has become increasingly difficult for his mother to transport him from his wheelchair to the family’s van. Simple outings and errands we often take for granted have for them become overwhelming obstacles. 

If you are inclined to ease the burden of another this Christmas season, I hope you will consider Max and his family. Your donation will help them with the overwhelming purchase of a wheelchair-accessible van.  Any amount would be appreciated 

Thank you for helping Max discover this wonderful world. And thank you Max for making it so. 

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Katie Foutz Erb 
Salt Lake City, UT
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