Katie Lyftogt (left), a teacher, and her student Joudelie (right), who is hoping to get a super hero cape from a program called TinySuperheroes, designed to empower kids as they overcome illness or disability. (Submitted photo)

Katie Lyftogt (left), a teacher, and her student Joudelie (right), who is hoping to get a super hero cape from a program called TinySuperheroes, designed to empower kids as they overcome illness or disability. (Submitted photo)

Chilliwack teen with severe disabilities is a true super hero

Joudelie King never stops laughing, even with all the adversity she’s faced in her life

A Chilliwack girl who has overcome tons of adversity is trying to get a super hero cape, and needs your help to do it.

TinySuperheroes is a program that looks to empower extraordinary kids as they overcome illness or disability, and Joudelie King fits that description.

Esther and Frank King adopted Joudelie as a newborn. She was born in Haiti and was diagnosed with Sakoda Complex, a rare chromosomal disease that leaves her unable to walk or talk or even eat. She is blind and deaf and totally dependent on others.

“She has had several cases of meningitis and had a huge brain surgery, and then they had to fix her muscles,” said Esther, who brought the girl to Canada in 2003. “She has been so sick, and so close to death but she just keeps on doing new things. Through all that, Joudelie has always been spunky and fun. She laughs all the time. She isn’t afraid to tell us what she wants and often won’t take no for an answer.

“Joudelie seems to be happy despite all of these limitations and that makes her a super hero. She never gives up! She never stops trying and she never stops being happy with what she does have.”

According to Esther, a child like Joudelie, who is 17 now, has no choice but to undergo painful procedures just to stay alive. They are limited in what they can do and where they can go because they need medical equipment and support at all times.

It’s been even worse during the COVID pandemic, with Joudelie unable to connect with friends or participate in the few activities she can do because of provincial health orders.

“We will put the cape on the back of her wheelchair to remind her that she really is a super hero,” Esther said.

Children are nominated for capes online at Tinysuperheroes.com. Through the website, people are able to sponsor capes.

According to the website, the capes help kids to “feel as strong as we know they are, be courageous in the midst of their fear and dream big.”

Since 2013, TinySuperheroes has empowered over 60,000 kids all over the world.

Joudelie is currently on a wait list for a cape, but here’s where your help might come in. All she needs to do is find someone who will sponsor $50.

If she hits $150 the cape will be personalized. To help her out, or help other kids who are waiting for a cape, visit Joudelie’s TinySuperheroes profile page.

RELATED: Canada home to 6.5 million people with one or more disability

RELATED: Therapists, children with disabilities learn from each other at Therapy Camp in Chilliwack


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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