People around the world are coming together to bring out the superhero in 3-year-old Benjamin Austin. And it's nothing short of inspiring.
Ben was diagnosed with Wilms' tumors, a form of pediatric kidney cancer, in July and continues to undergo chemotherapy treatments. And, if the tumors shrink enough, he'll possibly go through surgery. Throughout the fight, artists and doodlers everywhere have been sending the superhero-loving toddler drawings and motivational phrases to cheer him on.
The idea started with his cousin, Christine Conway, who called on friends, family and her Facebook community to draw Ben a superhero. Soon after, her cousin, Jonelle Kusminsky, shared the idea and sparked an amazing movement, asking everyone to take just five minutes to draw a picture of their favorite superhero and mail it to him.
"We are just hoping this eases his transition into his new normal," Ben's dad Jason Austin told Today. "We hope that this reinforces the idea that he is just as strong, if not stronger, than any of the superheroes."
Since the call, Ben has received thousands of drawings and superhero-themed presents, and he gets a burst of energy whenever mail arrives for him.
He has "a tough disease, but a positive outlook," Austin told Little Things. “He looks at every single picture drawn for him at least two to three times, and I’ve put him to bed for the last two nights going over more of the drawings. It’s going to be a long road, but we’ll get through this.”
In Benjamin's Superheroes, a Facebook page set up by his family, they shared that the chemo has already reduced the tumors in Ben's kidneys. It may be a long road, but Ben (who has also been a great big brother to his baby sister, Ellie) is fighting cancer like a champ—just like his favorite superheroes.
Stay strong, Bennie, as you defeat Bad Guy Cancer!
If you'd like to help, you can visit Ben's GoFundMe page or send some love through mail to:
c/o The Malta Family
10 Wheatfield Lane
Mountaintop, PA 18707