Max Masse entered the foster care system at the age of 14 in a kinship placement. At a very young age, Max’s birth mother falsely created fictitious diseases that led Max to visit multiple specialists, be prescribed strong medication, and even have medical procedures done to manipulate his health.
The use of being on strong prescription drugs for these fictitious diseases affected Max’s education, school attendance, social development and daily life. He was sedated most days, feeling like he lived day to day in a fuzzy dream-like state. By the time Max was 12, his mother was in the process of setting up a Make-a-Wish plan for him since she believed he was dying. At this point, Max believed he was dying as well. After Max had his final major surgery, he was placed in foster care.
At this point, the road to recovery began. It was a very long and slow process, but Max never gave up. At the age of 14 he was ready to enter high school, with high hopes of fully recovering. He struggled with understanding the facts of his childhood and his current situation. It was difficult for Max to trust others, but he slowly opened up. He began welcoming new experiences, friendships, social events, and getting out there.
Max graduated high school and is currently living on his own. He is working as Peer Navigator on the Oregon Pandemic Relief funds project at FosterClub, in partnership with the state of Oregon to get funds out to support young people who have experienced foster care.
The road to recovery was not easy for Max, but he never gave up, he always pushed himself and tried.
“When it comes to the past we can either make it a sad reminder of what we lost, or we can use it to build us up. If we do that, then our past becomes a reminder of what we have accomplished because when we do that, we have the power,” said Max.
If you or someone you know has experienced foster care in Oregon and has a financial need, you may qualify for this emergency relief. Please visit www.fosterclub.com/ORHelp to apply. If you need any type of support in filling out this form, please contact FosterClub at 503-717-1552 for assistance.
FosterClub is the national network for young people in foster care. FosterClub provides direct support to young people who experience foster care and drives change in the child welfare system by elevating youth voice. The national headquarters of FosterClub are located in Seaside, Oregon.