LONE TREE — Seven-year-old Max Vertin has a disease that is weakening his muscles, but not his imagination.
Make-A-Wish Colorado says Max, who loves to pretend to fly like a superhero, soared Tuesday at an indoor skydiving facility near Denver called SkyVenture Colorado. The Hastings, Nebraska boy donned a yellow-and-red Iron Man costume and red helmet and broad smile for his wind tunnel adventure.
Max and his two brothers have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that primarily affects boys, often manifesting itself when patients are very young and causing their muscles to slowly deteriorate.
Until recently, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, patients did not survive much beyond their teens, when the disease begins to affect the heart and respiratory muscles. Life expectancy has been increasing because of advances in cardiac and respiratory care.