‘Mini Darth Vader’ Max Page Heads To Capitol Hill

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Remember that awesome Superbowl ad with the little kid dressed as Darth Vader? You know, the one where he runs around his house attempting to use “the force” on everything from the dog to the washing machine? Little guy finally gets a reaction from his dad’s Volkswagen Passat (you can view the commercial here).

Turns out the boy behind the mask is little Max Page, a six-year-old child actor who was born with a congenital heart condition. Max has had a pacemaker his entire life and, thanks to science and a dedicated medical team, he’s an active, energetic and totally charming kid. Now he’s headed to Capitol Hill to lobby with the National Association of Children’s Hospitals to keep access to health care open for the 30 million children who receive Medicaid (the most common insurance for American children).

Max spoke with CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to talk health care and, I have to say, this six and a half-minute clip brought tears to my eyes (okay, I sobbed). It is unbelievable to me that a six-year-old – one who has endured eight major heart surgeries in his short life – can be this resilient, energetic, good humored and so totally outspoken. To say that it’s heart-warming would be an understatement.

CNN reports that there are only 56 Children’s Hospitals in the U.S., but they train 40 percent of all pediatricians and 45 percent of pediatric specialists in the country. Now the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Education Program is subject to major federal cuts, as is Medicaid, which is what Max’s advocacy is all about.

It’s worth watching Max’s appearance on CNN not just to learn more about his cause, but also to see with your own eyes what one child is capable of. It’s a reminder of the strength of children – and the fact that we as parents should take nothing for granted.

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