Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Community Answering Call For Help For Mikey

Michael Stolzenberg is a young man with a lot of courage. The avid young athlete and playful spirit suffers from a rare immune disease.
Read Carey Codd's blog about Michael
Click here to donate to Michael's Rehabilitation

Click here for video clip
Reporting Carey Codd
E-mail WESTON (CBS4) ― Just one day after CBS4's Carey Codd showed you the inspirational story of 8-year-old Michael Stolzenburg, you have delivered in way the family couldn't have imagined.

Since we aired Michael's story, viewers like you have donated much needed money for prosthetics and local performers are offering to put on benefit concerts to help Michael. All of this is in addition to a community arranged fundraiser called Miles for Mikey. It will be held on Saturday, December 6th at Tequesta Trace Park in Weston.

Michael is a young man with a lot of courage. The avid young athlete and playful spirit suffers from a rare immune disease.

Last summer Michael contracted an infection from a bacteria found in tropical climates, Chromobacterium Violaceum. Most people can fight it off. But with an immune deficiency disease the bacteria can be fatal.

"He was considered gravely ill," his mother Laura said. "We didn't know if he was gonna make it."

After seven weeks in the hospital, Michael survived. But he sustained oxygen loss to his limbs and doctors were forced to amputate his hands and his feet.

Yet the energetic and vibrant boy exudes happiness. When the family sat down to speak with us Monday, Michael mugged for the cameras and playfully joked with his parents and brothers.

When he put on our microphone he cleverly played the role of a TV reporter, saying, "Testing. Testing. 1-2-3."

It is clear the doctors may have amputated Michael's hands and feet but they did not amputate his spirit.

His father Keith says the ordeal challenged the family but he is bursting with pride over his youngest son's handling of the situation.

"It's a positive energy because Michael has the positive energy," Keith said. "Michael has been as strong as anyone could possibly be in this situation and he's a character."

"Michael gives me strength every single day," Laura said. "His spirit is amazing."

Michael is a character and he loves to play, but he is serious about returning to the sports field. "I want to get back playing sports. My friends, family, watching me, cheering me on," Michael said.

In fact, before his medical emergency Michael had been named quarterback for his pee wee football team, the Weston Warriors.

The family is making a plea for help. Michael needs high quality prosthetics to allow him to play sports and be independent. As he grows, he'll need new prosthetics. The family created the Michael Stolzenberg Rehabilitative Trust to raise money to pay for the prosthetics.

Michael is grateful for the community's prayers and donations. "They're very nice and very kind and I thank them for putting money into the trust," Michael said.

His family hopes Michael's youth will enable him to adapt to the prosthetics and be successful, not only on the athletic field but in life.

"As a family we are doing everything we can to give him a bright future," Laura said. "He will have every type of prosthetic that he needs and wants so he can do whatever he wants --- the same if not better. And in my heart, he will."

You can read more about Mikey, the fundraiser and how you can help by checking out Reporter Carey Codd's blog.

1 comment:

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