Teen honors sister’s struggle by launching charity

At just 17-years-old, Max Petruzzi has already accomplished a lot.

The singer-songwriter’s music videos have received hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and one of his songs has also raised a lot of money for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

But perhaps his biggest accomplishment is being a great big brother to his sister, Mirabella. She was born three months premature, weighing just 3 pounds, 2 ounces.

As a five-year-old, Max didn’t fully understand just how sick Mirabella was. He later learned his sister had almost died, after contracting a very serious septic infection.

Fortunately, she eventually made it home from the hospital and continues to be in great health today. But her struggle inspired Max to help other families of premature babies.

He started “Mirabella’s Miracle,” which works with hospitals to provide care packages for families with babies in the NICU. The charity is now in five hospitals and counting.

To learn more, check out our story below, airing statewide this week on California Life.