Tragically, many of the injured in the Boston Marathon bombings went to the marathon healthy and able-bodied, and left disabled, often without limbs. I can't imagine what it's like to be walking, running, or standing on a beautiful, clear spring day one minute, and the next, your entire life has changed as you realize you may never be able to do the job you wanted, or live the way you wanted, and will most likely now be more dependent than you ever planned. But 13-year-old Michael Stolzenberg knows better than most what the new amputees will go through. Because he lost all of his limbs when he was 8 years old.
At 8, Michael came down with an abdominal infection that required a medically-induced coma and eventual amputation of his arms and legs when the infection spread.
Michael now wants to raise $1 million for the 14 people who lost limbs in the bombings to pay for superior prosthesis for them -- the kind that can be used on the lacrosse field or in a race, like Michael does.
Michael says he knows what the victims are going through, telling the Sun Sentinel:
You lose something you'll never get back and yet, you'll still be okay but you don't know that yet. People are scared of different sometimes -- they don't want to change something that's already good.
Michael's family says his "mental fortitude" is what got him through the bad times, but that the prosthesis, which they paid for with the help of friends and family, were essential to helping him get back to a normal life, and the teen wants that for Boston victims too.
Mikey's Run launched two days ago and has already raised over $12,000. I have no doubt he will reach his ultimate goal.
Hopefully Michael can meet with some of the victims and tell them his story. It's truly inspirational to see someone who has lost all four limbs be so active, confident, and doing the things he wants to do -- including running a race! Incredible. He might be who the victims want to see right now. I know I would.
Image via WPTV/YouTube