The Maverick Strong Marathon started at 6 a.m. Friday. 28-year-old mother Marti Linane brought into the studio her 8-year-old Maverick Schutte, who has had countless surgeries, a broken leg, and goes everywhere with oxygen in tow.

They sat down in one chair, the little guy on Mom's lap, not even needing two mics.

Many famous people love Maverick. Months ago Wyomingites stopped asking how a kid from Cheyenne became a fan of the Boston Red Sox. The point is he has a great hero. David “Big Papi” Ortiz has been so amazingly supportive, giving Maverick a “Courage Award” just last month in Boston.

On that trip, Marti and Maverick met with the Senior Cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. The cardiologist has offered to see Maverick, and volunteered to do all she can for Maverick's heart. Let's get this boy to Boston. Help Maverick.

He toured historic Fenway Park. He met some Denver Broncos players for a little putting contest. He even went to Disney World - twice (the second time as the face of Children’s Miracle Network).

The 8-year-old likes to talk about what he loves, like chicken nuggets, French fries, pizza, Papi and Batman. But Marti also explained the darker parts of the story she knows all so well, "Maverick has an underlying immune problem.” Surgeries have become more risky and treating one organ can over-tax another. And oh yes, Maverick actually left us - twice.

Mom has an amazing amount of physical and emotional strength of her own.

During the radio interview, the little kid's cute voice spoke right into the shared microphone. Then mom's head moved slightly to the side of the mic. Maverick's tired little coos could be heard while Mom talked. During the conversation, I started noticing I heard something else, and realized those were Maverick's weak little breaths. It occurred I could mention it to Marti. The breaths would be audible to the listener. But then I thought, “If listeners can hear it, fine.” It just made it more real. Of all the things I heard this day with Marti and Maverick, the breaths were just one more heartbreaking thing.