Update: Soldier Runs to Benefit Family Fighting Rare Disease

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HASTINGS, Neb. -- One local soldier is running 100 miles to raise awareness for the Vertin family. Three of the Vertin boys are fighting a rare disease.

Max, Rowen and Charlie Vertin have been diagnosed with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. The disease causes their muscles to slowly deteriorate.

Matt Greathouse is a soldier for the National Guard. He's had his heart set on running the Leadville 100 in Colorado for years.

It's tabbed as the Race Across the Sky, covering extreme Rocky Mountain with elevations over 12,000 feet.

Greathouse was so touched by the Vertin family's story that he wanted to run in their honor.

"It's mind blowing how strong this family has to be and just seeing how upbeat the kids were they were smiling there always smiling its Max, Rowen and Charlie are their names and they're just always smiling it just amazing to me it's like I have to do something to help," Greathouse said.

If you want to help out you can donate on the Facebook page at Pledge for Mr. G.

100% of the donations will go directly to the Vertin family.

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The Nebraska National Guard named Lexi, 12, Max, 8, Chance, 6, Rowen, 5, and Charlie, 3, Vertin honorary members of the Guard, and gave them each their own battalion.

Max, Rowen, and Charlie have all been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that often starts young and deteriorates muscles.

The kids had the chance to tour 3 different helicopters on the Greenlief Training Base, ate dinner with the soldiers, and then were each honored individually with National Guard memorabilia.

The family said this kind of support from the community means a lot to each of them.

"It's just another way to celebrate what the boys are to us, and I guess what they're becoming to lots of other people in the community, "said Better Vertin, the childrens' mother.

Lexi Vertin added, "I never thought this would happen and seeing my brothers so happy, this is a very great memory. We'll cherish it all of our lives and remember it and tell stories about this

Betty said in their last check up the boys were in stable condition, which is good. But as their mother, she is seeing some differences in their abilities as they age.

After the ceremony each battalion reached out to their honorary newest member to get to know them better.

1st Sergeant Ron Schroeder said he first heard of the family through his neighbor, who is the kids' uncle.

"We're hoping to invite the family to any events that we have we'll invite them to family day, Christmas parties, we want to include them in it," said First Sergeant Schroeder.

Betty Vertin said the family has been invited to Thursday's Nebraska Danger game because it's Military Appreciation Night, and now the kids are a part of the military.