WYLIE — Besides not being able to speak, lift his head... or walk out of his bed, there's very little that separates 11-year-old Matthew Mickelson Butman from most boys his age.
He's got a killer smile. He loves to hug.
And his final wish was to meet Santa Claus.
On Wednesday, that wish came true.
In 1996, a rare neurological disorder claimed the life of Matthew's brother.
Soon, Leigh's disease — which is always fatal — will claim his.
"Unfortunately, Matt worries about me," said his mom, Gianna Butman. "I wish he wouldn't worry about me. I don't want him to hang on worrying about how it's going to affect me."
Matt's spirit is even grabbing the attention of complete strangers.
"On Facebook, we set up his own fan page," Butman said.
Since his bedroom is his entire world, Matthew wanted to know how many Christmas and birthday cards he could get.
"And they have come in like crazy," Butman said. "My husband brings a stack of them every day from our P.O. box."
On average, 35 to 80 cards arrive for Matt every day, some from as far away as South Korea and the Netherlands.
"Some people send pictures and some put money in there, of course, which makes him happy," Butman said with a laugh. "But I think the smiles and the cards... they all just give him much more will to fight."
And the ability to live longer than the 10 years everyone had expected.
"I believe there's a purpose; I do believe there's a reason," Matt's mom said.
On Wednesday, as part of Matthew's wish to meet Santa, he wanted to also focus on other children. So when Santa came, Matthew gave him a sack load of presents to benefit Santa's Helpers, which collects toys for needy children throughout the Dallas-Fort worth area.
Matthew is urging friends to do the same on his Facebook page.
Cards for Matthew can be addressed to:
Matthew Mickelson Butman
P.O. Box 1865
Wylie, Texas 75098