6 Year Anniversary!

Today is TinySuperheroes’ 6 year anniversary!  It brings up a lot of feelings – mostly those ones that land right in your gut where you can’t really decipher whether you’re anxious in a really good way or a really bad way. (I’m pretty sure it’s the good way, but my stomach isn’t as confident.)

 

On January 15, 2013 I was inspired by a sweet girl named Brenna.  She was born in December of 2011 (just 2 months after my first child) and entered the world facing a tremendous and unexpected battle. She was diagnosed with a very rare and severe skin disorder called Harlequin Ichthyosis. Her mom began writing about their journey to update family and friends. (She has since written an amazing book.)

 

 

In August of 2012 (prior to me learning about Brenna) my only nephew at the time, Eli was celebrating his 2nd birthday. I wanted to make Eli an awesome birthday present.

 

A few years prior my husband (Joe) had given me a sewing machine for Christmas. I was so excited about it, though it collected dust in a closet until Eli’s birthday sparked my desire to be crafty.

 

I decided that what Eli needed was his very own superhero cape. I went to Joann’s and bought some fleece, velcro, and elastic, brought out my sewing machine and started watching Youtube videos to figure out how to wind a bobbin.

 

I nearly lost an eye that day making Eli’s cape. Seriously. Can you imagine that? Not knowing what I was doing, I had purchased velcro with a sticky backing. Turns out, this was NOT a good idea for a sewing machine. The needle broke right in half and ricocheted, hitting me less than an inch from my eye.

I think back on this silly moment often. How something so small would have changed the course of my life…

 

Well, it didn’t hit my eye, but it did change the course of my life.

 

I gave Eli his cape at his birthday party and honestly, he wasn’t even half as excited about it as I was, but I wasn’t discouraged and continued making capes for the little people in my life.

 

 

Something changed when I read Brenna’s story. I was struck by the  way her family faced their journey with joy and gratitude in the midst of real fear that they might lose their daughter.  Brenna was a superhero. It seemed obvious that I needed to make her a cape, so I did.

 

There are so many things that happened between the day I sent Brenna’s cape and today. We have now sent over 20,000 capes to kids overcoming illness or disability. Each and every one of those capes arrives to a story…becomes part of the journey of an Extraordinary child.

 

It is a privilege to be part of TinySuperheroes.

 

It was a privilege to spend years with Super Gabby as she battled severe Epilepsy and it was a privilege to share in her final days on earth – her nurses proudly wearing her cape on Gabby’s last day.

 

It was a privilege to join Super Evie in her kindergarten class to help share her story and teach her class about Spina Bifida – helping to teach them that our differences make us Extraordinary.

 

It was a privilege to walk into Super Jacob’s room and visit with him just hours after he received a femur transplant to remove the cancer in his bones.

 

It was a privilege seeing Ryker bend the knees on his prosthetic legs years before doctors ever believed he would.

 

It was a privilege meeting Super London and watching in amazement at the beauty of her sign language. It left me a puddle when she and her mom created a special sign for my name (a combination of the signs for “R” and “tiny”).

 

It was a privilege to stand in line for hours at Super Runner’s funeral, where hundreds or people rallied to honor him and support his family. His TinySuperheroes cape draped his casket.

 

It was a privilege to help Super Remedy and her mom pack and move out of the Ronald McDonald house where they had lived for over 9 months, hundred of miles away from their home in Alaska. As they said their goodbyes to their new-found family, Remedy gently sang “Grown Ups come back” from Daniel Tiger.

 

It is all a privilege.  These moments are sacred. I do not take them for granted.

 

TinySuperheroes is much more than a cape.  It’s a Squad, a community, a journey…

 

My goal for our TinySuperhero Squad is for every single child who receives a cape to know without a doubt that we see them, that we are on their team and that we believe in them.

 

We start our relationship with their official cape, but I believe it is our consistent presence and encouragement in their life that holds the possibility of instilling true self esteem. Pride that they can take with them for the rest of their life.

 

I hope that 6 years from now, there will be hundreds of thousands of kids who know they aren’t alone – who are part of a Squad that knows what they are capable of and embraces every unique superpower that they bring. I hope they feel and believe they are Extraordinary. I hope, like Super Max here, their cape will be something they cherish as they grow!

 

So here we are in 2019. We’re sending more capes than ever. There is a crew of amazing people around me now who all share my passion for our Squad. It is wonderful to have people by my side.

 

We launched our new Patches program just last week and now every child on our Squad has the opportunity to join us for monthly missions, to unlock their superpowers and earn patches for their capes at no cost to their family. In 7 days, over 1,000 kids created their own TinySuperheroes Toolbox – confirmation that our Squad is ready to dive deeper.

….

 

Personally, I am humbled by all that you have taught me and I am grateful by how you have embraced me, just as I am…ponytail and all.  I cannot thank you enough.

 

We are forging forward today, as we do everyday, to turn our hopes for our Squad into realities. We strive always to learn from and serve our TinySuperheroes in the very best way we can.

 

For every unread email, late reply, missed appointment, cape shipped to the wrong address, or surgery missed… I hope that you know at my deepest core, I love you all.

 

Six years is something I am proud of, but I’m pretty sure the journey is still only beginning.  Thank you for being a part of it and for trusting me along the way.

 

Love,

Robyn Rosenberger

2 replies
  1. Amy barnes
    Amy barnes says:

    Robyn what you are doing for these kids is nothing shy of a miracle you bring smiles to their faces my granddaughter is 22 months and was born with club foot her name is super raelynn baker we just joined the group not long ago her cape was sponsored and we managed so far to raise enough money for 3 other supers and planning on make our tool boxes Friday and her sidekick brother Lucas is planning on making one as well I am so glad I ran across the group one day just flipping through Facebook I want you to know you are a blessing in each and everyone of these super heroes we love you and everything you do

    Reply

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