WolvesCare Heroes In The Making: Ben Anco and Bryce Madsen

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Lindsey LaBelle
Web Editorial Assistant


Muscular Dystrophy Association goodwill ambassadors Ben Anco and Bryce Madsen were honored Thursday at the Target Center for their work in the Twin CIties. They speak to various groups and educate others about living with muscular dystrophy – and they’re just seven and 10 years old.

Ben and Bryce were recognized as Heroes In The Making, part of the FastBreak Foundation’s WolvesCare month presented by C.H. Robinson Worldwide. At every home game this month, a child persevering through a life-threatening or long-term illness will be honored on the Target Center floor and given the chance to see a Wolves game from a suite, meet their favorite players and take home some Wolves garb.

Ben’s eighth birthday was the Friday after his honor, and Ben’s mom, Paige, said this is the best present the Timberwolves and C.H. Robinson could ever have given him.

“It’s just such a big thing for him to just be acknowledged,” she said. “It takes a lot to be an ambassador, and go in front of people and share his story.”

When Ben speaks to groups, he tells them of his particular form of muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, and imparts on the audience that he, too, is just a regular kid.

Paige was recounting a conversation she had with Ben, remarking how great it is that he participates in so many activities with his friends. This conversation prompted Ben to ask his mom, “Did kids not have wheelchairs when you were a kid? Were they in your school?”

“That was really insightful, coming from a seven-year-old,” Paige said. “He was like, ‘Well, where were those kids?’”

Ben and Bryce are working hard to give voice to their abilities, and that voice allows all audiences to understand that everyone has obstacles to overcome, but they shouldn’t overcome you.

Bryce was especially excited to meet Ricky Rubio and see him start in his first game this season against the Clippers.

“Under here, I have a shirt signed by him!” Bryce said, pointing to his shirt.

Bryce also works to impart his wisdom on his classmates.

“I tell them that I have a disease and I was born with it, and I tell them that it’s really hard to be like this,” Bryce said. “The kids understand. They’re really nice to me at school, they play with me a lot, some kids volunteer to stay in with me since it’s too cold outside for me to go to recess.”

Bryce and Ben’s message is loud and clear, and already, their peers have gained a profound understanding of what it means to be a friend.

WolvesCare month, presented by C.H. Robinson Worldwide, turns the FastBreak Foundation's attention to some of the Timberwolves' smallest fans, but those with the biggest hearts: children suffering with terminal of long-term illness. Through events at Target Center and around the community, the Foundation works to support and encourage these courageous children and their families, as well as raise awareness for some of the illnesses that impact their lives.

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.