Aug 30, 2012 10:20 AM by Marissa Torres
He's an 11 year old boy who is proving everyday just how courageous he is.
Not only does he have autism, but he was recently diagnosed with Dechenne Muscular Dystrophy.
But don't let that fool you, Brendan Ellis is one brave little boy.
His mother, Marnie Ellis, says she always noticed something special about her eldest son.
"Even when he was born, we always noticed how observant he was. When he was born the nurses and doctors brought him to me; he was looking around at everything."
His smile can fill a room, and his personality shines even beyond that.
"Sometimes he is really determined on something and so it's teaching me a better way of parenting... Making sure we're all happy as much as we can be."
But for Ellis, some days have been more of a challenge than others. Just two years ago, at age 9, Brendan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Brendan doesn't remember much from that day, but he does recall the pain he felt leading up til then.
"I felt like I was in pain... Like walking issues," says Brendan.
It wasn't long after that, Brendan Found Himself in wheelchair.
"He's gone downhill pretty fast and that's been a concern for us. We want to make sure he gets as much support and care he can, try to stay strong," says Ellis.
But in talking to Brendan, it seems he hasn't skipped a beat. Not only has he continued a love for the Pinewood Derby, but he also took on a new challenge by participating in the Special Olympics.
Brendan got first place.
This past summer was another new experience for the active 11 year old, MDA summer camp. Brendan says he made plenty of friends and can't wait to head back next year.
You can catch Brendan's story again on Sunday, September 2nd from 7-10pm for the annual MDA Telethon.