Matthew Mickelson Butman, an 11-year-old with a terminal condition called Leigh's disease, is celebrating Christmas by donating gifts to needy children and collecting greeting cards from all over the world.
Like many kids his age, 11-year-old Matthew Mickelson Butman was eager to meet Santa Claus. Most of his friends would line up at the mall for hours—but in Matthew’s case, Santa was willing to make a house call.
Matt has a rare degenerative neurological disorder called Leigh’s disease. It claimed his brother’s life in 1996—and soon, it will take Matthew’s life too.
“To make it easy to understand, it’s a very rare disease that affects the [cell’s] ability to make energy,” Matt wrote on his Facebook page. “Once a cell is affected, it dies. There are also brain lesions. Unfortunately it is terminal and there is no treatment or cure. ... My parents make sure I’m comfortable and have no pain.”
He is no longer able to speak or lift his head, but that hasn’t stopped him from celebrating what will likely be his last Christmas.
When Santa came to visit him on Wednesday, he didn’t have any gift requests. Instead, he presented Saint Nick with a big bag of gifts to deliver to needy children.
Along with the Santa visit, Matt’s only Christmas request is for strangers to send him greeting cards. He’s eager to receive messages of good will from people around the world, and he’s already receiving up to 80 cards a day. After Matt reads them, his mother hangs them up around the room in a chain of Christmas cheer.
Want to contribute to Matt’s happy Christmas? Greeting cards can be mailed to him at: Matthew Mickelson Butman, PO Box 1865, Wylie, TX, 75089.
Check out the video of Matt’s story below.
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