In late 2011, Justin Wilford and his wife’s life changed forever in an instant: their son Max was diagnosed at age four with an unclassified brain tumor leading to hydrocephalus and the need for emergency brain surgery, followed by over a month in the hospital, followed by out-patient chemotherapy. “We were shifting between utter despair and asking how we could improve his quality of life right now and for the long-term outcome,” says Wilford. Having recently completed his Ph.D. in Geography, Wilford utilized every connection he had in academia, reaching out to as many researchers and doctors as he could in the hopes of figuring out what he could do to give his son the best chance of high-quality life.
Throughout the process, Wilford and his wife met tons of parents who were in similar situations with the same concerns, but without the resources that they had. They wanted to provide other families with the resources and education that would allow their kids to thrive as much as possible—and it is from this desire that MaxLove Project was founded.
MaxLove Project is based on seven general actions denoted by the acronym “B.E.S.U.P.E.R.”, each of which is incorporated in their mission—whether in the form of culinary programs in hospitals, fun exercises lead by physical therapists and trainers, or mindfulness and meditation classes for parents. Wilford joins the podcast to discuss each and every one of them, along with details from his personal journey, what they’re working on now, and an update on how Max is doing.
Tune in and visit maxloveproject.org to get involved.