Aiden is one of the happiest kids you’ll ever meet. He is easy going and has the greatest smile. Aiden also has Leigh’s Syndrome, a debilitating mitochondrial disease. His cells can’t generate enough energy for him to function as he’d like to.
Despite being told that Aiden was unlikely to see his fifth birthday, this-soon-be six-year-old has started school in a stimulating environment where he will be surrounded by other kids and have the opportunity to develop.
Zach Seymour is an expert at living with mitochondrial disease. He doesn’t have mito himself, but both his mother and brother do.
When Zach was 12, his Mom was suffering from chronic fatigue and sleeping for 14 hours a day. As a single mother of two, she worked at several jobs to try to make ends meet. She suspected mitochondrial disease but was unable to convince doctors in their small, rural town that this was a possibility. It was demoralizing, frustrating, and debilitating, as this lack of willingness to consider mito left them without a diagnosis. No diagnosis also meant no treatment, relief, support, or hope.
Thomas Zachos is a beautiful young spirit who believes that everybody has a special purpose in life and that we can achieve anything — no matter who we are.
Living with mitochondrial disease for more than 10 years, Thomas says he is a fighter but admits that he struggles and that his journey is not easy. The disease has taken much away from him – the sports he loved to play, the freedom of movement, tireless energy – but it does not hold him back. Instead, it inspires him to use his unique and brave perspective to encourage others.
Thomas is one of those exceptional people we cannot forget. His strength, attitude and kindness are apparent and admirable. He’s brought all those qualities into, Superheroes Like Me, a beautiful story written by Thomas. He says he wrote it because he wants to change how people look at those with disabilities. He wants to ensure that everyone is seen for the person they are on the inside and for children to embrace the truth that everyone can use their unique strengths to be their own kind of Superhero.
Through carefully chosen words and beautiful illustrations, Thomas asserts that we all have a very special purpose in life.
With the help of MitoCanada, Thomas’ book has been brought to life through animation.