Help Heal Broken Hearts
In 2019, in honor of Max Michalak, Angels in Disguise established the Help Heal Broken Hearts Campaign, to award grants for children with Down syndrome to receive corrective heart surgeries.
We partner with organizations such as the David Ortiz Foundation and Hearts of Joy International to earmark funds for children with Down syndrome.
In 2014, Mike & Penny Michalak brought home Max and Francis. Max was diagnosed with Down syndrome, as well as Arterial Pulmonary Hypertension. His brother Francis was wanted by families for adoption, but Max was not. The very real possibility of them being split-up was imminent. After prayerful consideration, Mike and Penny moved forward to take both brothers together, even though their time with Max would be short.
In the summer of 2018, Max was given six months to live. Had he an earlier surgical intervention, perhaps his story would have been much different. God graciously allowed Max to be with his family for much longer than expected. He was able to do and experience so many things that brought him joy, as he brought joy to others. He passed away on December 9, 2019, the day before his 8th birthday. Although there is great sorrow in his passing, there is also reason to find joy. Here was a boy who may have died alone in an orphanage, separated from his brother, without a family. Instead, the joy of adoption brought him a family, connection and faith.
This loss only reiterates the very real need, the very real life or death consequences, for children with Down syndrome.