Aidan is 7 years old and has Down syndrome. He is a SuperKid because he has taught everyone who knows him more about life, perseverance, and determination than any book or lesson. He teaches us everyday to celebrate the little things. We love seeing life through his eyes and experiencing life at a slightly slower–but no less challenging–pace. Aidan loves sports and will soon start a new adventure on a baseball team. He swims, rides horses, and loves to run! We hope you think he is just as super as we do!
Brandon Goldberg, 11 years old, began to play piano by ear when he was three years old. He currently studies both classical and jazz piano, and loves to perform and compose his own music, and listen to his favorite artists, including: Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett.
Through his love for music, Brandon has helped raise funds and awareness for various charitable organizations, including: Isreal Bonds, Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer, City of Hope, and Broward Children’s Center. Brandon hopes his music can help and inspire others.
Brandon has appeared on NBC’s Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey, the Steve Harvey Show and the Harry Connick Jr. Show. He’s also performed at Carnegie Hall, at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Monty Alexander, and at the Apollo Theatre as part of the Jazz Foundation of America’s A Great Night in Harlem and at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.
Brandon also performed at TEDxBocaRaton, TEDxYouth@Miami, the Aventura Young Stars Showcase, Miami Beach Jazz Festival, and Broward 100, and has been featured as a soloist with the South Florida Youth Symphony, the Sugar Pops Symphonic Orchestra, and played with the Honors Jazz Orchestra at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music Young Musicians Camp, as well as the Superintendent’s Honors Orchestra.
Brandon believes that everyone has their own instrument in life and they should take the time to find it!
My daughter Sydney is undoubtedly a SuperKid! Aside from being incredibly smart and talented, she is also a wonderful daughter, sister, and just an all-around amazing girl. She has a kind and generous soul, always thinking of ways to make others feel loved–whether she’s giving mom her daily morning hugs before getting out of bed (it’s an unwritten rule of hers, actually), offering to help her brother in some way, or making sure to pack a little extra of one of her favorite snacks to share with her friends.
Perhaps what really sets her over-the-top into SuperKid status is her relationship with her friends and peers. As we know, many kids in the tween and teen ages struggle with many different emotions, whether it’s feeling self-conscious about getting new braces, feeling isolated because he/she was excluded from a group, or just feeling sad in general. When she notices a friend feeling down, Sydney always offers an encouraging word to try and help him/her feel better. When she sees someone feeling left out, Sydney always encourages him/her to join the group. When she notices a friend acting badly toward another friend, Sydney will gently but honestly tell him/her that wasn’t a good choice. Sydney has the qualities that we all look for in a friend–kindness, generosity, and loyalty, just to name a few–and it shows through the bonds that she shares in her friendships. Our Sydney is a super daughter, super sister, and super friend–and that’s what makes her a SuperKid!
Lila was born with Down syndrome and duodenal atresia. At the age of 4, it was discovered that she also had a severe immune deficiency, known as hypoimmunoglobulinanemia. To treat her immune deficiency, she received monthly IVIG treatments. At the age of 7, medical professionals could no longer locate veins in Lila’s body to administer the IVIG so she had a procedure to install a mediport.
A few months ago, the mediport was found to be unusable so she had a procedure to remove the mediport. A few days after the procedure, Lila started having some stomach issues. When she stopped eating and drinking, her parents knew it was time to go to the Emergency Department for some fluids and treatment for her symptoms. Lila was admitted to the hospital that evening for the beginning symptoms of pneumonia, found on a chest x-ray.
We are thankful for a very thorough, caring and persistent staff of medical personnel. They just kept digging, ruling things out as they went along. Lila had no real symptoms of pneumonia, but she had started complaining about pain on her right side when doctors were examining her. She was taken for an ultrasound to check for appendicitis, and it was then that her severely infected gallbladder was discovered. Surgery was scheduled to remove the infected gallbladder. The morning Lila was waiting in pre-op for her surgery, she went into respiratory distress and had to be put on oxygen. She went back up to her regular hospital room with a plan to reschedule the surgery a few days later.
The next morning, a new surgeon was on rounds, and after examining Lila, she told us that she wanted to perform the surgery that day instead of waiting. She felt the risk of waiting was too great and asked us to trust her. She said that when she examined Lila she could feel the mass that was Lila’s infected gallbladder and she wanted to remove the gallbladder as soon as possible before it caused any further issues. We felt an instant rapport with this doctor and what she said made complete sense to us. Lila had surgery that afternoon. The surgeon told us that the surgery would be complicated and difficult. As Lila had surgery for duodenal atresia on day 2 of her life, there were many unknowns going into this surgery.
As Lila left pre-op with her dad to go into the Operating Room, she told us that she was scared. That’s the first time in her life we have ever heard those words come out of her mouth. We were already scared, but that made us even more scared.
We are thankful that Lila came out of the surgery ok. A drain/tube was placed during the surgery. During the next couple of days, the measured output of the drain determined that another surgery would be necessary for Lila. We were discharged from the Children’s hospital with the drain attached. Three days later, we checked into a different hospital where Lila had a procedure called an ERCP. During this procedure, a stent was placed. Lila’s drain output has started to decrease, and she will have the drain removed soon. In about 5 weeks, she will have another ERCP to remove the stent.
Throughout this entire process Lila has been brave and positive. She doesn’t complain and always finds a way to put a smile on her beautiful face. We are so blessed by the gift of her life. We feel like the luckiest parents in the whole wide world.
My name is Mayar, and I am 11 years old and born in England. I have twin brothers and a sister. My hobbies are gymnastics, horse riding, and tennis. While I have already lived in and traveled throughout a few countries, my favorite country that I have visited is Dubai. I love the summer there, and they have amazing places for kids that I have not seen in other countries. I also love Libya, where I come from, because I enjoy visiting with my family around the holidays.