South Florida Quadruple Amputee Launches Website To Help Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Michael Stolzenberg, 13, says that after the Boston bombings he "felt obligated to take a bigger stance" as he helps fellow amputees

A South Florida student who is a quadruple amputee has a big fundraising goal for his effort to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings: $1 million.

Michael Stolzenberg and his older brothers set that figure as their goal when they launched

Mikey, 13, watched the news of the Boston bombings with his family after getting home from school last week. As doctors explained the severity of the victims' injuries on live television, the seventh-grader understood the situation in a unique way.

"It was different because all the amputees involved,” he said.

When he was only eight years old, a bacterial infection sent him into a coma. He went into septic shock, and had oxygen deprivation to his limbs. Doctors were forced to surgically remove his hands and feet.

"They saved my life, but not my limbs," the teen said.

Woman Injured in Boston Bombings Reunited With Rescuer

He now walks on prosthetic legs. An athletic teen, he plays on the lacrosse team at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale. The well-rounded student is also committed to helping those like him.

"I have dealt with some amputees visiting in the hospital, and I try to help out as much as I can,” he said. “With something so vast and big like this, I felt obligated to take a bigger stance.”

Bigger, to the tune of a million dollars. Mikey and his brothers have partnered with the Scott Rigsby Foundation for their website, which aims to raise money to help those injured in the bombings. Funds will go directly to the nonprofit organization, which enables individuals who have lost their limbs to lead active lives.

"Prosthetics cost a lot of money. Above the knee would cost even more because you need a mechanical knee and usually insurance would not cover it," said 15-year-old Justin Stolzenberg.

Why Boston Bombing Suspect Faces WMD Charge

Their older brother, Harris Stolzenberg, will be a freshman at MIT next year. He’s also a soon-to-be marathoner.

"I had absolutely no intention of running in the Boston Marathon. I play football and lacrosse, but running a 26.2-mile event is a different animal,” he said.

Those donating money on the site will be sponsoring Harris, helping him cross the finish line, while helping to bring awareness to the cause.

Mikey wants to be at the finish line to root on his big brother and to meet the victims of the bombings. He wants to share with them the advice he has run with.

"If they played sports, keep playing sports. If they like writing essays, keep writing them. If you like drawing, keep drawing,” he said. “If you like anything just keep doing it. Your dreams are not impossible."

More Local Stories:

Contact Us