Max Page, Volkwagen’s Mini Darth Vader, Faces Open-Heart Surgery

Max Page, the seven-year-old boy who played mini Darth Vader in Volkswagen’s “The Force,” holds a special place here at Deutsch LA. So when we found that he’s going through open-heart surgery on June 14 to replace his pulmonary valve and fix a hole in his heart, Deutschers have rallied to help him.

Many of us know Max and his wonderful family personally, either from the commercial shoot or from his visits to the office. We’ve been recording videos of encouragement, collecting toys for him and his brother, and donating to his cause.

Max is an ambassador for Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, where the surgery is taking place, and he’s trying to raise money for other kids who suffer from heart problems. Deutsch employees have raised several thousand dollars for Max, and Deutsch is matching that donation. If you want to help Max, you can donate at: www.chla.org/max. And, of course, he’d appreciate all the good wishes and prayers you can send his way.

Because you don’t know Max the way we do, I wanted to include part of the email we got from his mom, Jennifer:

We told Max and Els Sunday afternoon. Initially, Max was crying and repeating how scared how he was. We unpeeled the layers by asking what exactly he was afraid of and tackled each issue as he could verbalize it. Blood draws, spending the night in the hospital and hurting are the big three. He was also very sad that summer would be in rest in recovery instead of playing baseball, golf and traveling. Around bedtime he asked if I would stay up with him and talk. He wanted to make a “CAN DO” list. So we wrote out all the things he can do so he could focus on those. Then he said we definitely had to “Fun Up” the house. So we went and got Els out of bed and spent the next hour redesigning each room with a theme, special rules and secret codes. In the Library (Els Room) we have to read with flashlights. On Whisper Lane (the hallway) you have to whisper. Going up the stairs you have to sing “Take me out to the ball game”. The most favorite is the garage—Explode Zone—science experiments and art projects, the messier the better.

Last night, I wanted to make sure he was doing as well as he seemed. He said, “Mom I don’t have a choice. I have to go through it. I don’t like it and it’s still scary—but I have to.  So I think I might as well go through it with a good attitude.” So as we hop on Max’s coattails to go on this ride—we too, shall do it with a good attitude. Though we will still tremble with tears and have our overwhelming moments—we will focus on the “CAN DO” and enjoy our Fun Up House.

Mighty Max wants me to include one more thing—one of the lines he uses when he speaks to groups.

“Kids, if you use your FORCE and dream big, you can achieve anything. We may be small—but we’re mighty!”