Three-year-old Ben Austin was recently diagnosed with pediatric kidney cancer. The Pennsylvania boy, who will be facing the biggest battle of his young life in the upcoming months, is also fascinated by superheroes. So Austin’s cousin, Christie Conway came up with a genius idea for cheering him on: rallying people from the Internet to send sketches of superheroes to help encourage him through the difficult time he will be facing.
Austin’s father, Jason, posted to Facebook on July 6, along with a photo of his adorable toddler dressed up as Clark Kent-Superman:
“UPDATE/CALL TO ACTION: Our nephew, Ben, is starting a course of treatment to involve chemo, surgery and more chemo at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Port connected today. The fam is most grateful for your ongoing prayers/positive thoughts/well-wishes. ALSO…
My rad cousin, Christie Conway, had just about the best idea EVER. Ben’s a fan of superheroes. (To wit, see pic.) CALLING ALL ARTISTS/NOTEBOOK-DOODLERS/TEACHERS WHOSE STUDENTS NEED BUSY WORK/PARENTS OF KIDS WHO NEED A CRAFT PROJECT/NICE PEOPLE: Take five minutes. Make a little picture of your favorite superhero. It doesn’t even have to be any good. Slip said sketch into an envelope. Slap a stamp on it. Send to:
c/o The Malta Family
10 Wheatfield Lane
Mountaintop, PA 18707
He’d like that. And WE’D like it if you could spread the word. 🙂 Tell your friends to tell their friends. #SuperheroesForBenny“
Jason Austin said of the post:
“We are just hoping this eases his transition into his new normal. We hope that this reinforces the idea that he is just as strong, if not stronger, than any of the superheroes.”
In addition to the Facebook post, he hopes using the hashtag #SuperheroesforBenny on social media will help bring awareness to the family’s morale boost effort.
In the coming months, the tiny boy will receive 12 weeks of chemotherapy. From there, doctors will figure out how much of his kidneys, which contain several cancerous tumors, need to be removed.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help raise funds for the expensive cancer treatment Benny will be receiving. You can donate here.