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Nebraska Boy Flies Like Iron Man, Thanks to Make-A-Wish (and 4 More Inspiring Stories)

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Brennan Linsley/AP

Five inspiring stories you might have missed this week. (See last week’s list)

1. Max Vertin, the Iron Boy of Nebraska

Max Vertin has Duchenne muscular dystrophy but that didn’t stop him from deploying his superpowers on Tuesday, reports KUSA.

Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the 8-year-old Nebraska boy visited an indoor wind tunnel, which simulates skydiving conditions, and flew like his favorite superhero, Iron Man.

Emulating his hero was just the beginning. Max received a surprise visit from the armored billionaire genius, who was decked out in his full red and gold costume. He presented Max with his very own Iron Man suit.

“This is awesome. This is the break we needed. It’s nice not be at the doctor’s and getting them shots. We can just have fun,” sister Lexi told KUSA.

Max transformed into such a convincing superhero that by the time his limo pulled away from the wind tunnel facility, a crowd was cheering “Iron Max.” It looks like Tony Stark has some competition.

2. Drake Surprises Terminally Ill Fan in Texas

15-year-old Kennedy Brown’s dream to meet her favorite rapper came true April 12, when Drake visited her at her family’s Houston, Texas, home, reports KTRK.

Brown has battled brain cancer for two years, but the tumor’s persistent growth has forced her to leave school.

That s when Brown’s friends decided to throw her a “high school in a day” experience. The teen participated in a private graduation ceremony and was crowned prom queen. When her friends got wind of her wish to meet Drake, they launched a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #drakeforken.

Last Friday, Drake called the family to inform them of his plan to fly out to Houston just to visit with Kennedy, Brown’s dad told KTRK. Drake posted pictures of his visit to his Instagram page, describing Brown as a “beautiful angel” and granting her request to touch his eyebrows.

3. Ohio Student’s Website Helps Athletes Cope with Concussions

Soccer player Samantha Sanderson is still in therapy from the six concussions she received while playing her favorite sport. But she says recovering from the brain injuries is often lengthy and lonely; that’s why she co-founded a website called, reports WKEF.

The site allows people to share their concussion stories, learn about new and evolving treatment options and manage their symptoms. was launched last summer, on the heels of a new Ohio law requiring youth sports programs to educate parents about concussion signs and symptoms.

Sanderson, who is now pursuing a doctorate in psychology, has some advice for athletes suffering from a concussion: “Don’t sell yourself short because I wouldn’t be in this program if I thought, oh, I can’t play anymore. It took a lot of work to get here, so if I had kind of given up, I wouldn’t be where I am,” she told WKEF.

4. Minnesota Florist Organizes Dream Wedding for Military Couple

An Army sergeant and his bride were planning a courthouse ceremony, the only kind they could afford, until a local florist stepped in and organized a dream wedding for the couple, reports the Pioneer Press. Terri Uy-Lennon, owner of Uy-Lennon Floral and Events in East Bethel, Minn., met the bride, Paige Collins, last fall while working on another wedding. When she learned that Collins and her fiance, Army Sgt. Cody Bauman, who was stationed in Afghanistan at the time, couldn’t afford a wedding, she said she knew she had to do something.

Uy-Lennon called up a photographer friend, and the two used their professional networks to recruit 30 additional local businesses, securing $35,000 in total donations. The event took place on a historic farm and the bride rode in on a horse-drawn carriage. A DJ spun tunes for more than 130 attending guests.

5. New York Classical Radio Station Collects 2,500 Instruments for Area Students

It only took 10 days for WQXR, a New York City classical music radio station, to collect 2,500 musical instruments for charity, reports WSWS. The instruments, which included flutes, clarinets, and guitars, will be donated to the city’s public schools.

One notable donation came from a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who purchased his violin while living in a displaced persons camp in 1947. The instruments will now be refurbished through a partnership with Sam Ash Music Stores and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a nonprofit started by the late Michael Kamen, composer for the 1995 feature film of the same name.

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