You remember that Volkswagen ad from a few years back, with the adorable kid in the Darth Vader costume running around his house trying to use the Force on stuff? It seems that life has dealt him a pretty rough hand, but he's handling it with a strength that'd make any Jedi proud.
Max Page is now 7 years old, and he's spent the year since the Volkswagen ad broke during the Super Bowl helping the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles raise money for kids with heart conditions. It's a cause close to his heart, literally, because he is one: Max was born with a congenital heart defect. But the time has come for surgery to help correct it ... and Max was more than a little scared.
Here's a letter Max's mom wrote to Business Insider, explaining Max's situation, how he responded to the scheduling of the surgery and the awesomeness with which he's facing it:
We told Max and Els [Max's brother] Sunday afternoon. Initially, Max was crying and repeating how scared how he was. We unpeeled the layers by asking what exactly he was afraid of and tackled each issue as he could verbalize it. Blood draws, spending the night in the hospital and hurting are the big three. He was also very sad that summer would be in rest in recovery instead of playing baseball, golf and traveling. Around bedtime he asked if I would stay up with him and talk. He wanted to make a "CAN DO" list. So we wrote out all the things he can do so he could focus on those. Then he said we definitely had to "Fun Up" the house. So we went and got Els out of bed and spent the next hour redesigning each room with a theme, special rules and secret codes. In the Library (Els Room) we have to read with flashlights. On Whisper Lane (the hallway) you have to whisper. Going up the stairs you have to sing "Take me out to the ball game". The most favorite is the garage—Explode Zone—science experiments and art projects, the messier the better.
Last night, I wanted to make sure he was doing as well as he seemed. He said, "Mom I don't have a choice. I have to go through it. I don't like it and it's still scary—but I have to. So I think I might as well go through it with a good attitude." So as we hop on Max's coattails to go on this ride—we too, shall do it with a good attitude. Though we will still tremble with tears and have our overwhelming moments—we will focus on the "CAN DO" and enjoy our Fun Up House.
Mighty Max wants me to include one more thing—one of the lines he uses when he speaks to groups.
"Kids, if you use your FORCE and dream big, you can achieve anything. We may be small—but we're mighty!"