Oprah Gives Young Broward Amputee $100K For Boston Marathon Charity

Jun 21, 2013

Despite losing both hands and feet to a massive infection five years ago, 13-year-old Michael Stolzenberg of Weston is an avid athlete.
Credit Mikey's Run.com

A young South Florida amputee and his brother just found out they're getting some star power behind their efforts to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has pledged $100K toward a charity created by 13-year-old Michael Stolzenberg and his older brother, 18-year-old Harris.

Just five years ago, at eight years old, Michael lost both hands and both feet to a massive skin infection.  

Winfrey told Michael's story to Harvard University's class of 2013 during her commencement address last month.

"When he learned that so many victims of the Boston Marathon bombing would become new amputees," Oprah told the audience,  "Michael and his brother Harris created Mikey's Run dot com.  To raise one-million dollars for other amputees."

After the speech, classmates and teachers at the Fort Lauderdale school both brothers attend encouraged them to reach out to Winfrey.  Sure enough, Harris Stolzenberg says he and his brother received Oprah's return phone call last week.

"We talked for a little bit and then out of nowhere she was just like 'I'm truly inspired by your story and I'd like to make a 100-thousand-dollar donation," says  Harris.  "At that point, she was talking to Michael.  And Michael just went silent and he didn't know what to say.  It was pretty awesome."

The money raised for Mikey's Run will support rehabilitation programs and services for victims who suffered loss of limbs during the Boston Marathon bombings.  The April 15th attack killed three people and injured dozens more.

The Stolzenberg brothers had already raised 100-thousand dollars on their own.  They'll be hosting a fundraiser at their school, Fort Lauderdale's Pine Crest, in late July to get closer to their $1 million goal.