"Iron Max" Fights Hemophilia with Cameo in "Iron Man" Comics

Hemophilia Reports, March 2016, Volume 3, Issue 1

The superhero Iron Man inspired a three-year-old hemophilia patient to continue his treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he had been a patient nearly all his life, and adopt the nickname "Iron Max."

The superhero Iron Man inspired a three-year-old hemophilia patient to continue his treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he had been a patient nearly all his life, and adopt the nickname “Iron Max.”

Max Levy, now six years old, was diagnosed with hemophilia as a baby. He and his older sister Zoe, eight, put together March Madness brackets to raise money for charity. This past year, they created a calendar featuring 26 children from CHOP. Their target was to raise $5,000, and so far they’ve raised $8,394, or 168 percent of their goal.

Max was featured on NBC’s Nightly News, where his father explained how Max got his nickname.

“We had just seen the movie Iron Man few days before,” explained Max’s father, Dan Levy. “I said to him, ‘Do you remember the scene where Tony Stark takes the port, takes the arc reactor out of his chest and puts the new one in? ... you’re going to get one of those.’”

Marvel, the creators of Iron Max, even reached out Dan Levy and let him know that Max would appear in one of the comics.

“I thought, one of these is a superhero and I don't think it's the guy who wears the suit,” Dan Levy said after seeing Max appear on the back cover of the book with Iron Man. Max was also featured in the pages as a cartoon character.

Here’s the letter Zoe wrote to all the readers of her and Max’s website, explaining their calendar project:

I first started reading a story about a girl who raised thousands of dollars for cancer research, and since my brother Max has a bleeding disorder called hemophilia, I wanted to do something to raise money for hemophilia research.

Max has had hemophilia his whole life. We found out about it when he was nine months old, and he had to wear a helmet every day for three years. Just last year he got a port—a metal disk in his chest like, Iron Man. Now we call him Iron Max.

I was thinking what to do to raise money and I wanted to include my friends. Finally I thought to make a calendar so I asked my friends to take photos for the calendar. I can’t believe how many said yes!

All of the pictures in our calendar were taken by kids in grade school. All of my friends, and some of my family too, wanted to help raise awareness for hemophilia.

Hopefully you do too.

Thank you so much,

Zoe