Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mailia Meets Bret Michaels and dreams of being part of the "Something To Believe In" charity reality show.

                       Mailia & Bret Michaels Aug. 24, 2011

Well wouldn't you know it.  After teasing Mailia's dad Max about what an absurd idea it would be to ever wish let alone believe that a meeting between that infamous rock star from the Poison days, Bret Michaels, would ever materialize...I am here to tell you it was WORTH...believing in.

I will always remember Max coming in to tell me...this, is who you need to get a hold of to help he hands me a piece of paper with Bret Michaels name written on it.  Who is Bret Michaels?...I Max just rolled his eyes, knowing I never cared nor listened to his music (sorry BM fans...but that is a fact).

Max told me he had just won the Celebrity Apprentice show (another one I did not watch obviously) most of my spare time is glued to the computer and internet looking for therapies and treatments for Eisenmenger's and pulmonary hypertension i.e. Adult Stem Cell Therapy and at time, we were so wrapped up with Mailia's first stem cell treatment and trip and raising the necessary funds to facilitate it all.

No...I thought to myself...well, if he is who you know him to be...then try to contact him Max. least for the time being.

Spring ahead to March 2011 while perusing through our local news paper, the Tri-City Herald I happened to see who the concert line up is for our local small town/city Benton Franklin county Fair and Rodeo...and when I saw that Bret Michaels was jaw hit the floor!

It's a's a sign!  I remember orating to myself and Mailia...and quickly contacted Max to let him know.  Max spent the next several months trying to figure out an opportunity where Mailia could actually meet Bret Michaels.  He wrote letters to the BM fan club, to his publicists and road Manager, who we heard...had graduated from Kennewick high school.

But during this time, we also found out that Bret had been diagnosed with a hole in his heart, a PFO or patent foramen ovale that was a possible cause of stokes he had experienced early on.  Unlike Mailia's heart defect or hole in her heart (VSD), doctor's were able to repair Bret's heart defect with a right heart cath and PFO closure device.

A true Miracle...and now with this added caveat and circumstance that hit sooo close to home, we knew in our hearts that Bret and Mialia...were destined to meet and connect in some meaningful and heartfelt way.

The day of the fair and concert came, August 24th 2011 and Max took the day off work...and left the house early to find a way so Mailia could meet Bret Michaels.  He spent the entire hot and sweltering day combing through the entire fairgrounds...a paparazzi troll if you will, asking and inquiring until he landed at the Bret Michaels concert booth. After talking to several of the Bret Michaels staff setting up for the pending concert, and a 1-1/2 hour waiting period, Max was finally told that Mailia could have a meet and greet with Bret prior to the concert. Max immediately called home to tell us that his baby girl was going to get her wish.

I loaded up Mailia and her little service dog SteelDust and we headed for the fair late that afternoon and found her dad harboring a wrist band for her.  Came time for the meet and greet, Mailia and Max were whisked back stage behind so much security and secrecy where Mailia got to say hello to Bret, shake his hand and have her picture taken with him.  His band members and staff were all over little SteelDust...and Max, so humbled and grateful to them all...handed Bret an envelope with a letter he had written with one of Mailia's cards that said the following:

Dear Mr. Michaels,
Let me begin by saying congratulations on your successful heart surgery and for remaining to be a positive role model in lieu of your other recent health challenges. I have been a fan of your music since the Poisonous 80’s. Having recently watched you on Celebrity Apprentice, Barrett Jackson, and other media outlets, I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for you as an individual, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and most importantly a DAD. The way that you responded to the news of your daughter’s diagnosis of  Juvenile Diabetes, on Celebrity Apprentice, was very commendable. Like they say “Any man can be a father but it takes a special man to be a DAD”.

My name is Max Goforth and I live on a small farm in Pasco, Washington with my wife Andrea and daughter Mailia. My wife and I work full time day jobs and we also breed horses and dogs in our spare time. Our 17 year old daughter Mailia , like you, was also born with a hole in her heart that went undiagnosed until she was 3 ½ years of age. Mailia developed secondary pulmonary hypertension due to the large hole in her heart, or Eisenmenger’s Syndrome, and has required supplemental oxygen 24/7 for the past 14 years. Until recently Mailia’s prognosis was not good, as the traditional treatment protocols have had no noticeable benefit and Mailia’s pulmonary pressures are too high to safely close the hole.

Mailia is a beautiful 17 year old with a strong desire to live life to its fullest. She amazes her mother and I everyday with her positive outlook and we are extremely blessed to be her parents. We made a trip last summer to Florida and then to the Dominican Republic where Mailia underwent a controversial Adult Stem Cell Transplant that has shown very positive results. This technology is currently the only viable option that Mailia and some other Eisenmenger’s patients have to live long and prosperous lives. We are in the process of planning another similar trip in the near future to allow Mailia to have a second stem cell procedure. You can view Mailia’s story and the chronicles of our whirlwind trip at

When I heard about your own heart condition and successful surgery, I told my wife, it sure would be cool if Mailia had the chance to meet Bret Michaels someday. Just two unique individuals bound by a common challenge.
As fate would have it, I see based on your current concert schedule that you will be performing live at the Benton/Franklin County Fair on August 24, 2011. This happens to be the County Fair for the area of Southeastern Washington where we live. We would consider it an honor and a pleasure if you could spare a few moments of your time while you are here in Kennewick, Washington to meet with us and Mailia. You would make the proud parents of an amazing 17 year old very happy.

Max Goforth

The meeting that coincided with Bret's concert was amazing.  Hearing his song, Something To Believe In was heartfelt.  The next day...while googling the lyrics to the song, I found out that Bret is working on another reality show with Donald Trump called non other than "Something To Believe In"...a show based on "Charity" and Bret's intention of traveling the country helping those in need of a miracle.

Well...if FAITH and TRUST have anything to do with it...and taking Bret's last sentence or words said to Max and Mailia (to heart)..."I will talk to you later"...I think, Mailia has a very good chance indeed, of being a part of Bret Michaels circle...once again.  And who knows, maybe a special "angel" will intercede and open a wonderful door so this will come to pass. 

Please everyone...keep Mailia in your on going prayers that she will be healed and have her miracle.  Thank you are an awesome dad and husband.  We will never forget this are the best and YOU ROCK too!~

                         Mailia, Max and Bret Michaels....

1 comment:

  1. just awesome!! love you Mailia and you must be very proud of your dad...he rocks!! kisses from Chile.