KALISPELL — Two sisters in Flathead County are doing what they can to support the Bench family after their young son Maverick Bench passed away from complications from a rare condition earlier this week.
Sisters Megan Upton and Leanne Wagner started their own business last August, 406 Soap and Candles Company, making handcrafted artisan products. The pair decided to make specialized “Captain Maverick” lotion, soap and candles after hearing of Maverick’s story, with all proceeds going directly to the Bench family.
The sisters said they reached out to the Bench family for guidance on the perfect scents for Maverick’s products – they came up with an outdoorsy scent because Maverick loved playing outside with his brothers.
Megan said they started selling Maverick’s products in early December and have already raised close to $1,500 for the family. She added they’ve sold nearly 200 Captain Maverick products. “Just thought it was a great way to have a little piece of Maverick at home with them and to be able to remember him in their thoughts and prayers, to light a little candle or have their bar of soap, they just love that idea,” said Upton.
Maverick’s hardship started in May when he was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia - a rare condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells. During his fight, Maverick underwent two bone marrow transplants, heavy doses of chemotherapy, and a world of severe complications.
Over the past several months, Maverick’s fight went viral on social media, with more than 18,000 people following his Facebook page “Maverick’s Army” for daily updates. Maverick’s story reached the hearts of followers from all over the world, receiving letters of encouragement from as far away as Germany, Australia and Spain.
He is survived by his mom Colleen, dad Logan, and four brothers. His father posted to the Maverick's Army page this morning: "Our Hero is now in Heaven."