A Rare Collection – Superheroes

Once Upon A Gene

A Rare Collection – Superheroes

June 17, 2021

A Rare Collection – Superheroes


A Rare Collection – Superheroes

This is a new edition to the podcast that is built on the power of storytelling. This extra special first episode of A Rare Collection will be released once a month and will feature three people from the rare disease community sharing a short story. This month’s theme is Superheroes.


Casey Parks, Father to Ford with CTNNB1

Casey shares a story from when he was little, going to the comic book store with his dad and brother. His favorite comic was Captain America. As he grew, he still loved superheroes and looked forward to introducing his kids to the world of super heroes in the same way his dad did for him. He hoped his son would love Captain America as much as he did. Casey shares about his son Ford, born with a rare genetic condition called CTNNB1, and how the things he remembers from his childhood, the things he wanted to share with Ford, probably won’t be a part of their father-son journey the way he imagined. But what it’s taught him instead is that Ford is his real life Captain America.

Bo Bigelow, The Rare Disease Film Festival, The Disorder Channel Co-Founder, Father to Tess with Hao-Fountain Syndrome

Bo tells a story about a boy he met, a 7 year old superhero. He shares about his 11 year old daughter Tess who has Hao-Fountain Syndrome. She doesn’t talk, she has autism, seizures and intellectual disability. At a picnic on a hot summer day, Tess was overheating and miserable. The picnic where Bo was hoping to connect with other parents and other children like Tess had left him feeling isolated and disappointed. Departing the picnic gathering, Bo took Tess to the beach to cool off in the water. A 7 year old boy stood by in the water watching Tess. He asked about her. He asked how old she was. He asked why she didn’t talk. He was interested and curious about Tess. When Bo told the boy that Tess didn’t speak, the boy reacted with a heroic statement. The boy saved the day. He was a superhero.

Daniel DeFabio, The Rare Disease Film Festival, The Disorder Channel Co-Founder, Father to Lucas with Menkes

Daniel compares the strengths of superheroes and the often opposite comparison of kids with rare disease- that they can do less than others and there’s a lot they cannot do. Daniel’s son Lucas needed a wheelchair and needed a food tube. Instead of focusing on Lucas’ lack in ability to speak, he focused on his expressions, how infectious his grin was and laugh were. People found his gifts remarkable. With all his challenges, he found and exuded joy and inspired others to do the same. Lucas used the superpowers he had to do good and spread good to those around him. What would you do if you had superpowers?





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