2/21/2008 10:10:00 AM

Charity Gives Ailing Boy Yankees Dream Room

Posted by Mark McCray |

In case you were wondering what baseball can do for a six year old boys mind state check out this story about Max Marangella a young boy from Gilbert, Arizona.

Max Marangella, 6, is a big fan of the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter is the coolest guy around for the first-grader, and now Max can escape to his own version of Yankee Stadium after local nonprofit Room for Joy renovated his room last weekend.
The group creates dream bedrooms to enhance the healing of chronically ill children. Max now has his own locker, baseball chair and dugout bed fashioned out of fence in his Yankee-themed room.

When the family came home Sunday from a weekend getaway sponsored by Room for Joy, Max sprinted from the car to see his new digs.

"I mean he just galloped down that hallway," Max's mom, Patricia Marangella, said. "I was still way behind him and his face he didn't know what to look at first. It's just every place he looked there was something else."

Max loves playing baseball in his backyard and being as active as possible but that hasn't always been easy for the Gilbert boy.

He was born with a heart defect and also suffers from intestinal and connective tissue disorders. He's had 32 surgeries.

Max underwent his first cardiac surgey when he was six weeks old and his latest was in June.

"He truly believes he's Superman," Marangella said. "He doesn't let any of his medical issues really slow him down."

About 20 to 30 volunteers helped with the project that was funded by the children's ministry at Central Christian Church in Mesa. The rooms cost about $3,000 to $5,000 to do.

Many of the children, who helped raise the money, attend Max's school, Quartz Hill Elementary in Gilbert.

"We've had a really rough six years with medical issues and those of course impact your finances," Marangella said. "When you look around the house, you can tell there are issues. We always put our kids first no matter what happened we did for them before we did anything else. You just fall short. It's been a rough existence these past six years."

And that's why Marangella said she was thankful for the renovation. This weekend was a bright spot that was a long time coming for the family of four.

Before they left on Friday for their mini-vacation, a volunteer had told Max that she wasn't much of a Yankees fan, but liked other sports teams.

"I told her, 'You better not tell Max if it's the Boston Red Sox,'" Marangella said. "Derek Jeter is God to him. He just loves Derek Jeter."
Hey Jeter...if you are reading this-- there is a kid in Arizona who could use some autographs.

To find out more (or help another child get the room of his/her dreams) please visit the Room for Joy nonprofit charities website below.
Room for Joy!


Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for such a wonderful post! I am Max's mom and on behalf of the Yankees greatest two fans and Jeter idolizers, thanks so much for including Max's story on your blog. Max truly deserved this room and loves every second he spends in it. Go Yanks!!

Mark M. said...

That is probably the most rewarding thing that this website has brought me.

It was an honor to run Max's story and my only regret is that I can't do more to help.

If there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to email me and I will certainly do my best.

Thank you for taking the time to comment and I hope that you and Max both visit my website from time to time. It would be an honor.

Mark M.
The Bronx Stop

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