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Family in need finds big help in football player
Mendon, N.Y. -- Ask Maiya Colon to do the zombie face and the 18-month-old will open her mouth wide then squeal with delight.
Shes the only one who doesnt know anything is going on, said Maiyas mom, Maria Colon, of Greece.
Maiya has been diagnosed with a new type of GNAS mutation.
She grows extra bones in her skin, subcutaneous skin and connected muscles can turn into hardened bones, Maria said.
To help Maiya maintain mobility, Maria takes her to Lattimore Physical Therapy in Mendon.
It was here she met Charlie Shuman.
Shumans parents own Lattimore PT, and, through therapists there, the offensive tackle for the Pittsford football team heard about Maiya.
I was like, Alright, we have to do something because you cant look at that face and not be like, yeah, Shuman said.
Shuman, standing 6-foot-7, approached Maria and offered to help little Maiya.
I really have to say I really underestimated Charlie at first, Maria said.
Shuman started a fundraiser and began planning a benefit 5K and dance marathon.
At this point, Shuman has raised more than $3,000 for Maiyas family.
Its more than I could have ever imagined, Maria said. Its a beautiful gift and one we can hopefully give to someone else.
Shuman said he now plans to transform this campaign into a foundation called Big Helping Little.
I dont know what it is," he said. "I love being in charge of stuff, making sure its done the right way."
Should you want to donate, you can visit https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/4cy3/bighelpinglittle.