Three years ago, 8-year-old Zach Holland was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The terminal condition causes his muscle mass to slowly shrink, constantly limiting his mobility.
Despite every hardship, he’s a happy kid with a bright spirit. So when the time came for him to need an electric wheelchair, Josh Collins, his doting stepdad, decided he would stop at nothing to get it for him!
Josh and his buddy Dan are two pals with plenty of tattoos, beards, and a generally tough exterior. They’re also both terrified of heights. After seeing all the obstacles Zach overcomes every day, the two of them realized they could take on one of their own — by promising to skydive if they raised enough money for Zach’s new wheelchair!
Currently, Zach is using a traditional wheelchair, but as the muscles in his arms have gotten weaker, he is no longer able to push himself. An electric chair would make a world of difference for his independence and quality of life, but insurance won’t cover it. Out of pocket, his family would have to pay almost $12,000.
That’s a big chunk of change for any family, let alone one with mounting health care costs. When Dan heard about the situation, he knew he had to do something to help out! He came up with the skydiving fundraiser and promised to keep Josh company every step of the way.
Soon after, Dan created a GoFundMe page, telling Zach’s story and making a promise to skydive with Josh if they could raise enough for the wheelchair.
Within a month, they were nearly 90 percent of their way to the goal and have since surpassed it!
“I’m scared of the skydive,” Josh said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just going to be a bad time for 20 minutes or so, and then we’re going to get Zach the chair he wants.”
Zach’s mom Laura won’t be skydiving with them, but she is thrilled to see what the new wheelchair will mean for her son.
“Our main mission is just to give Zach an incredible life,” she said. “We go on lots of adventures. Now his mobility is declining [and] it’s more difficult, but once he’s got his chair we can take him anywhere.”
What an incredible act of selflessness! Thank you, Josh and Dan, for reminding each and every one of us what true love looks like.
Learn more about Zach on Instagram, and be sure to share this story with your friends.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for the Happiness Subscription and get the #1 daily good news email, expert health & wellness tips, and more! Learn more.