An 8-year-old Nebraska boy battling a rare disease dreams of flying like his favorite superhero, Iron Man. And for one shining moment, that dream came true.
Max Vertin, now known as "Iron Max," was given a chance to ride the air at an indoor skydiving facility in Colorado, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Vertin suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic condition that primarily strikes boys and causes muscular degeneration that gets progressively worse.
Although walking now, Iron Max is being fitted for the wheelchair he's expected to need.
On Tuesday, however, he got to don an Iron Man costume and float in 100-mph winds.
"This is awesome. This is the break we needed," older sister Lexi told KUSA. "It's nice not be at the doctor's and getting them shots. We can just have fun."
"He deserves a few days to just be a kid," mom Betty Vertin said.
Max's two younger brothers suffer from the condition as well. Rowan, 5, also took a ride in the wind tunnel, while 3-year-old Charlie played nearby, CBS4 Denver reported.
Because the disease eventually strikes the muscles of heart, patients often did not survive beyond their teenage years until recently. Advances in care have extended survival into the 30s and beyond, with some patients living to their 40s or 50s, the Muscular Dystrophy Association said on its website.