Superheroes really do come in all shapes and sizes, and one Utah dad is on a mission to show the world that superheroes can be pint-sized, too.
Photographer Josh Rossi went viral last year with the photo he took of his daughter Nellee during a Halloween shoot. The pair do a shoot every year on her birthday, but since missing the last one, Rossi made up for it in spades.
For all the pictures he created from that photo shoot, go here. But read on for the feel-good story it inspired.
After seeing about what Rossi did for his daughter, parents of children with an assortment of medical issues and disabilities started calling Josh, asking him to do the same for their kids. Over the next two months, the journey he and his wife Roxana embarked on would create the cutest and most inspiring #JusticeLeague you'll ever see. They found children whose sicknesses, disabilities, or other qualities matched them with a popular DC superhero, and transformed each and every one of them.
Born with HLHS, Teagan may have come into this world with only half of a heart, but he more than makes up for it in spirit. Rossi chose Teagan for the man of steel because of their similar debilitating weaknesses. Kryptonite hurts #Superman, and Teagan's body's ability to regulate temperature is affected by his heart. Plus, the little dude loves Superman, so seeing himself as Kal-El had to be the coolest thing ever.
Aside from his love of all things #Batman, Rossi turned Simon into the caped crusader because of the kid's Bruce Wayne-like qualities. He's super smart, always wants to know what's going on, and has been living with Neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve cancer. Simon sure is a fighter.
I do believe there's room enough on this planet for two Diana Prince's, or three, including Rossi's daughter. When Sofie was three years old, she was diagnosed with yet another form of cancer that nobody would want to try and spell, let alone tangle with. Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma and the subsequent chemo treatments may have taken the long dark hair Sofie wanted to look like her hero #WonderWoman, but it hasn't taken her fighting spirit. Judging by the picture above, who would want to tangle with her?
Sometimes, the most difficult disability is the one nobody else can see. Zaiden doesn't suffer from cancer, or the loss of limbs like Cyborg, featured below. He has severe ADHD, which comes with a massive amount of energy, something that gets him in trouble often. All the kid wants to do is run and play, so Rossi took that energy and made it Zaiden's superpower with #TheFlash.
Run, Zaiden. Run!
Like the half-man, half-robot #Cyborg, Kayden has never let not having legs stop him from kicking butt and taking names with his prosthetics. Born with Omphalocele, where his internal organs grow out from his navel, Kayden's legs had to be amputated at a very young age. He's already learning how to walk on prosthetics, and Rossi immediately knew which superhero he was going to transform this strong little dude into.
Mataese Manuma. He has a name that even sounds like he could play Aquaman, doesn't he? Click here to see the king of Atlantis in all his tiny glory. This little guy's story should be enough to inspire even the most jaded of us. He's only two, but is currently kicking Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia in the face. His condition isn't actually what sealed the deal for honorary Atlantaen citizenship, but rather the fact that Mataese and Jason Mamoa are both of Polynesian descent.
Each and every reaction these wonderful kids had to seeing themselves as members of the Justice League is on Josh Rossi's YouTube channel, so be sure to head over there and check things out. Warning: tissues might be needed.
If you want to read more about their stories, or visit Rossi's website, the links are below:
Zaiden's reaction to seeing himself as The Flash