(NBC)Three-year-old Max Levy needed to get a metal disk surgically inserted into his chest to allow easier treatments for his hemophilia. His father, Dan, struggled with how to tell his son the news.
Then, he got an idea.
“We had just seen the movie ‘Iron Man’ few days before,” Dan said to NBC. “I said to him, ‘Do you remember the scene where Tony Stark takes the port, takes the arch reactor out of his chest and puts the new one in? … you’re going to get one of those.”
“‘I get to be Iron Man,” Max responded.
Thus, “Iron Max” was born.
While Max was at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, his sister Zoe started printing calendars with photos she, her friends, and Max had taken. They sold them to support the hospital and other children with hemophilia. They ended up raising $7,000.
Marvel Comics, the creators of Iron Man, caught wind of the story and of Zoe’s work. They reached out to the Levy family to tell them Max was going to appear in one of their comic books.
“I’m not a crier, I’m not — it was literally the first time, I just came into the room, and I just wept,” Levy said of his reaction. “It’s been a year and half of … honestly not great, this kid deserves a win.”
“Since he’s been a baby he’s been told what he can’t do and now its sort of kind of neat to see what he can do and he can be anything — he can be a superhero,” Levy said. “That’s just the coolest thing.”
“I think it’s pretty cool being in a comic book. Like, it’s really really cool,” Max, now 6, said. “I’m making (other children) not scared because there’s a kid who’s a superhero and they would like to be that I guess … maybe some people are that,” Max said.