Braedon Monthony was taken with Winter the tailless dolphin the first time he saw her in Dolphin Tale. He excitedly told his mother, “Mom, how cool! She’s just like me!”
Winter, the star of Dolphin Tale, lost her tail after getting caught in a crab trap. Now, she uses a prosthetic tail. It’s something to which the first grader can relate. Braedon lost both of his legs below the knees after fighting bacterial form of meningitis before he was even a year old.
Braedon desperately wanted to meet Winter in person, so he started a lemonade stand to raise money. When the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida heard about Braedon’s efforts, they offered his family free tickets and set up a special meet and greet next spring. Unfortunately, the family will have to pay for the trip down there. But not to worry!
So far, Braedon has raised about $200 and the family also started a Go Fund Me page, which has netted around $4,000. It’s more than enough to go see Winter.
“Ever since I saw the movie, I’ve been wanting to meet her, I’m so excited,” Braedon told People. “She lost her tail and I lost my legs, we both wear prosthetics, we’re the same!”
The movie, and Winter, made Braedon feel a little less lonely. He said it made him realize he wasn’t the only to lose his legs.
“When he saw the movie, he was so excited to see another being similar to him,” Braedon’s mom, Elaine Monthony, told People. “He felt such a kinship with Winter. He doesn’t see people with prosthetics every day, so it will be very special for him to see her, he doesn’t have to feel alone or different. We can’t wait to see him experience that.”
Like Winter, the prostheses aren’t an obstacle to Braedon. The energetic little boy loves to bike, swim, and just play outside. He might use the energy to do some good one day, too. Braedon said when he grows up he wants to work with animals who are missing limbs.
“I would like to train dolphins and killer whales that have lost their tales, because it would make me feel so happy that I would have my own dolphin to train!” he said. “Mine would definitely like me a lot, I think. We would have a lot in common.”
Go get ’em kid!