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8-Year-Old With Rare Disease Becomes ‘Iron Man’ For A Day

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LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – An 8-year-old with a rare disease got his wish on Tuesday and it was a day like no other for him and his family.

The Vertin family stepped out of a limousine at SkyVenture Colorado in Lone Tree to high fives all the way from Hastings, Neb.

Max Vertin, 8, loves “Iron Man” and got a specially designed suit at the indoor skydiving center.

Max has a rare disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, that is slowing robbing his muscles of their abilities. Doctors had said he would likely be in a wheelchair by age 9.

“But he’s 8 now and he’s still walking, although we are getting measurements for his first wheelchair,” said Max’s mother Betty Vertin.

But on Monday Max got to fly high like Iron Man in a vertical wind tunnel.

(credit: Alan Gionet/CBS)

Max Vertin (credit: Alan Gionet/CBS)

Guided by expert Joshua Evans, he was like a skydiver falling 100 plus mile per hour.

“He deserves just a few days just to be a kid,” said Betty.

The boy who flies is from a family that’s special.

“It is a genetic component and I’m a carrier and we didn’t know,” said Betty.

That means that Max, the oldest boy, is not the only one with the disease.

“We have Max, but also two other sons who have the same disease,” said Betty.

So does Rowan, 5, who got his turn to fly, and Charlie, 3, who played in the background as Max talked about his flight.

“I wish I could jump that high. That would be so cool,” said Max.

Each of the older kids in the family and even dad got to take a flight. It was all made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

A family worn out by disease got a day they couldn’t get any other way.

“It’s just an amazing organization with so many volunteers, just good people. You can just feel their hearts on the outside,” said Betty.

It was a nice break for Max and his family.

“I have them here and I have them every day and we laugh and we play. And it’s so much fun and so I am happy, it is a good day, it’s just kind of all crashing down on me,” said Betty.

Outside a crowd of people taking a break from the nearby Intuit Company showed up to cheer on Max and his family.

They made a wish, it came true and Max had the time of his life.

Make-A-Wish Colorado has granted more than 4,200 wishes since 1983.

LINKS: Make-A-Wish Colorado |  SkyVenture Colorado | Muscular Dystrophy Association

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