Ill eight-year-old boy gets to fly like Iron Man

Max Vertin, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, enjoyed his superhero experience with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Most children can only dream about being a superhero – but one eight-year-old boy got the chance to experience what it’s actually like to have superpowers.

Max Vertin suffers from a disease that is causing his muscles to gradually deteriorate, but with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado, he was able to fly like Iron Man.

The little boy defied gravity Tuesday at an indoor skydiving facility near Denver, called SkyVenture Colorado.

Max, from Hastings, Nebraska, donned the iconic red and yellow Iron Man costume and red helmet and took to the air with a huge grin.

He and his two brothers have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that primarily affects boys and often becomes evident at a young age.

Until recently, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, patients did not survive much beyond their teens, when the disease starts to affect the heart and respiratory muscles. However, advances in cardiac and respiratory care mean that life expectancy has been increasing.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation works to grant life-changing wishes to children diagnosed with life threatening medical conditions. The Colorado branch has made more than 4,200 wishes come true since it was founded in 1983.

Additional reporting by Associated Press