Deep within all of us is that desire to be a superhero. To be able to be fast, to be strong, to soar to great heights. Even though we may not have those superpowers, deep within a lot of us, is that special power that makes us special, that superpower that keeps us going each day, despite the pain and struggle that we face. Photographer Josh Rossi, his wife, Roxana, and costume designer Julie Whitely worked together to create an inspiring photoshoot, taking children with diseases and disabilities that put them through hell, but they keep fighting each day, and, through the photoshoot turning them into the Real Justice League.
After months of searching, they found six amazing kids, each one fitting the character that they posed as. Each with their own personal story, and struggle, but are bound not to be slowed down or stopped.
Zaiden Stolrow Is The Flash
Seven year old Zaiden suffers from severe ADHD. He has endless energy and loves to run. Sadly, this has gotten him in trouble at school, as well as classmates not inviting him to events or birthday parties. Instead of having friends, he found himself an outcast.
Josh took Zaiden’s weakness and turned it into his strength, making him The Flash to this new Justice League.
Mataese Manuma Is Aquaman
Two year old Mataese Manuma has a rare form of cancer called Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia. Despite having to go through the chemo treatments, this little guy is, in Rossi’s words, a powerhouse.
Being so young, as well as weak from the treatments, his brother helped him pose during the photoshoot. Also, being of Polynesian descent, Josh made him the League’s Aquaman.
For more information on Maetese, go to his GoFundMe page
Kayden Kinckle Is Cyborg
Five year old Kayden has been a double amputee most of his life. He was born with Omphalacele, which caused his organs to grow outside his navel. Ignoring the doctor’s orders to abort him, his mom decided to save her son, even though that meant his legs were amputated at an early age.
He was learning to walk on prosthetic legs at an early age, telling his mom that he didn’t want any help, and that he wanted to do it by himself. His tough as nails attitude, and his strength on the inside made him the perfect choice for Cyborg.
You can purchase Kayden’s book Here. Proceeds help in paying the medical bills
Sofie Loftus Is Wonder Woman
Three year old Sofie has a rare cancer called Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer of connective tissue. Her dream was to have long dark hair. Sadly, due to the cancer, she lost all of her hair. But that has not stopped her.
Despite the exhausting treatments, she still managed to be there for the photoshoot, proving that she was the perfect choice for Wonder Woman. In the photo, her right eye was swollen from the radiation.
You can find out more about Sophie by visiting her GoFundMe Page
Simon Fullmer Is Batman
Five year old Simon was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Neuroblastoma, a cancer that forms in certain types of nerve tissues. He’s quirky, strong, and according to his mom, never complains. He’s also very smart, asking the doctor and nurses what’s going on, and has corrected them on a few occasions when they’ve made a mistake.
Simon is a huge Batman fan, especially the fact that Bruce Wayne is rich.
Being a fan of Batman as well as being smart makes him the best choice for the Caped Crusader
To find out more about Simon, you can visit his YouCaring Page.
Teagan Pettit Is Superman
The final member of the Real Justice League is nine year old Teagan, who was born with half a heart, known as Hypolastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS. He has had three open heart surgeries, wears oxygen at night, and recently had his feeding tube removed. Due to having half a heart, he’s unable to regulate temperature as other kids do. Being in a cool pool on a hot day, would cause him to have blue lips and he’d have to be warmed up by blankets or other heat sources.
His family has said that everyday is a blessing, as his condition could fail anytime, but he continues to move forward. Much like his hero, Superman, Teagan has a heart of steel.
You can visit Teagan’s Facebook page HERE.
The photos, the video, and the kids’ stories – all of it is awe inspiring. These kids have not let their weaknesses stop them. In fact, it is their weaknesses that make them strong. They are the Justice League.
You can find more photos from Josh Rossi by visiting his website, http://joshrossi.com/
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.