Annual bash celebrates child heroes fighting ‘super villain’ diseases

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY -- When you're raising a child with a life-threatening illness or condition, it can be difficult to keep their spirits up—but an event held earlier this week helped bolster the spirits of families in that situation.

The Superhero Bash is sponsored by Millie's Princess Foundation. The group is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial support and hope to families affected by childhood cancer--but this annual event is open to all children with life-threatening conditions or diseases.

Ellie Tucker, Chair of the Superhero Bash, spoke about their goal.

"We invite them to step into another world, into a world of superheroes and super villains, where the good guys always win, and the bad guys always lose," she said.

Tanner Jensen was among those who attended, and he has spinal muscular atrophy—which is a condition similar to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

"It affects all the muscles in your body,” said Esther Jensen, Tanner's mother. “And so, he can't walk. He can crawl a little bit. Actually, this boy has the same disease, and he can't crawl. And neither one can walk, so they'll be wheelchair-bound for the rest of their lives."

Tucker said they hope to give kids like Tanner a reason to feel good.

"The entire purpose of our event is to show these kids that they are real heroes, and that the illnesses they are fighting, they may be super villains, but these heroes are strong enough to take them on and to win," she said.

The event featured music, dancing, target shooting and a variety of games and other activities.

“It's just really cool to be able to go to something like this where there's other kids around them that have, maybe special needs too, 'cuz my kids don't see other kids in wheelchairs, so that's really cool,” Esther Jensen said.

Tucker said they hope to inspire.

"We try to make it an event that's not just something for them to look forward to, but something that inspires them to keep fighting," she said.

Jessica Anderson is a parent who attended, and she said it was wonderful.

"This is one of his favorite events every year, and to see him be his own little superhero brings joy to me too,” she said.