GREENVILLE, Mich., -- Marshall Lewis is Amway's August Pay it Forward Person of the Month. The 14-year-old has spent his summer break working hard to help his best friend's mother beat a rare disease. Using money from his birthday, he purchased a table saw and other tools to transform his garage into a makeshift wood shop. Lewis has spent his days, along with his best friend Keagan Mills, crafting cutting boards to raise money for Keagan's mother.
Lori Mills was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) in February 2012. The rare, debilitating disease attacks the nervous system, leaving her paralyzed at times. Although there is no cure, a stem cell transplant can put the disease "in remission" and give the mother of three another shot at a normal life. Mills' insurance has already denied approval for the expensive procedure, but Mills said that decision is currently being appealed.
When Lewis heard about the situation, he decided to sell those cutting boards to help raise money to cover her medical costs. So far, he's been able to bring in about $400 dollars, while a GoFund me account set up in Lori's honor is also bringing in funds to help the family.
"It brought tears to my eyes, it was very touching, just because [Marshall] is such a hard worker and I'm so proud that he's someone my son hangs around," Mills told FOX 17 News. "I'm very thankful that there are boys that would do something like this, Marshall would do this, my boy would do this, just to help my cause."
Lewis said he plans to keep his wood shop business going, despite the start of the school year approaching.
"I'm going to probably do some after school, after practice and probably on the weekend," he said. "Probably any break I can get...A [stem cell transplant] isn't cheap, so we decided that we would want to help out in any way we could."
Mills has been cleared by doctors to undergo the stem cell transplant and hopes to begin the process of treatment soon.
To learn more or to order from Lewis' cutting board business, click here.