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      Brett the brave

      Five-year-old Brett Fassbender is your average boy--he loves Spiderman, his blankie, soccer, and he wants to be a superhero when he grows up.

      But Brett needs your help in order to grow up. Brett has aortic stenosis bicuspid valve.

      "Brett was born with a different valve blocking his aorta. Usually that valve has three leaves; Brett was born with only two. The body tries to compensate, and just like if you work out your muscles at the gym, the heart has to push through that area more. So because he only has two, it leaks back more blood," said Dr. Jennifer Atkins, Marquette General Pediatrics Specialist, who is also treating Brett.

      Despite having to have surgery, Brett says he is excited about one thing.

      "You get to go in your pajamas, right?" said Ashley Fassbender, Brett's mother.

      "Yeah, all of the doctors, too!" said Brett.

      "All of the doctors are going to be in their pajamas, yeah," Ashley said.

      Even though the Fassbenders say they have great medical insurance, they will still need to pay about $8,000 in medical expenses, not including all of the travel expenses. The surgery will take place at the University of Michigan Hospital.

      "We can't stay with him; we actually have to stay at a hotel that's about fifteen minutes away," Ashley said. "So we'll be staying at a hotel, but it's just a little while away. But if they call us in the middle of the night, we can go there."

      To offset some of the costs, there is a special account at the Marquette Federal Credit Union under the name "Brett Fassbender's Benefit Account" for anyone who would like to donate.

      The family says they are very grateful to the community.

      If you'd like to help out the Fassbender family, you can head over to the Econo Foods parking lot, on Saturday, June 8. From 1 to 5 p.m., friends and family of the Fassbenders will be hosting a car wash, which is by donation. If you don't need your car washed, bring your "returnables" to donate.

      Or, if you're buying groceries that day, hand over your receipt to the family and friends who will be bagging your groceries. Econo will donate a percentage from the receipts to the family.??