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Meet Nurse Leah

Hello, SuperCaptainBraveFAM!

As January 2021 comes to a close, I’d like to say Happy Birthday to two members of our SuperCaptainBraveFAM: Brigette Vasquez and Corey Timmons. They happen to have the same birthday and are close to Kyle and his family.

Corey met Kyle in 2017 and has been a friend ever since. His generous heart and fun nature make him an amazing addition to Team Kyle. Not to mention an extra partner in crime for our epic Halloween group costumes.

Readers might recognize Brigette as one of Kyle’s nurses. Loving and kind, she is Kyle’s morning nurse and the one who helps him most often with schoolwork. In fact, she is the first nurse you meet in the SuperCaptainBraveMan books!

As I type this, I realize that I forgot to introduce myself in the last blog post. Oops!

Meet Nurse Leah

Hi! My name is Leah Lodevico, aka Nurse Leah.

If that sounds familiar, you might recognize the last name as that of the talented illustrator of the SuperCaptainBraveMan series, Victor Lodevico. He’s my brother and the person who introduced me to the world of SuperCaptainBraveMan and Kyle.

For as long as Victor has been Kyle’s nurse, I’ve known the incredible Norman family. In 2015, I joined the team in charge of Kyle’s care as his weekend nurse. Watching and caring over him these past 6 years has been some of the most rewarding in my life.

During the production of the first two SuperCaptainBraveMan books, I sat in awe of the stories and artwork Jennifer Norman, Paul Norman, and my brother, Victor Lodevico created. In 2018, Victor approached me with the idea of creating a story for the fall. And so, The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan: A Kyle Adventure Book 2: Signs of the Season came into being.

2019 saw another collaboration for me and SuperCaptainBraveMan. Along with Paul Norman and inspired by the precocious Mia Armstrong, I co-authored The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan Book 4: Down on Safari!

I’ve been writing stories since high school and the opportunity to write for a series like SuperCaptainBraveMan is one that I cherish and am extremely grateful for. In addition to these books, in February of 2020 I also published the book Someone Said, inspired by my daughter and my own experiences as a second-generation immigrant.

During 2020, I’ve devoted my time to helping my daughter adjust to distance learning, sewing face masks, and of course, taking care of Kyle.

I was given the opportunity to write for the SuperCaptainBraveMan blog this year and it’s not one I intend to fumble. My hope for this blog is to make it a safe space to talk about the health issues and triumphs everyone experiences. Especially for those who live adaptive lives and their families.

I’m not an expert and I don’t think I have the energy to even be one. What I am is an avid learner who happens to be the parent of a constantly questioning 9-year-old. Finding ways to explain the world to her is a daily occurrence. I hope writing for this blog will not only help me start difficult conversations with my child, but help anyone start and continue conversations that need to happen with the next generation.

In future posts, I’ll be talking to different people who inspire others and work to spread positivity. And in honor of the 5th Anniversary of the SuperCaptainBraveMan series, I’m going to end each blog with a little segment called 5 Facts.

Nurse Leah and Kyle celebrating Book 3: Nurses are Amazing!

Here are 5 Facts About Leah Lodevico:

  1. My favorite podcast is Ologies by Alie Ward. It’s an often hilarious and always informative podcast. Each episode is dedicated to a different -ology, or field of study. The language isn’t always kid friendly, but the information is always interesting. If you visit the Alie Ward website, there are kid friendly versions if you’d like to share a fave episode with your kiddos.

2. I play the viola. I enjoy the richness of tone the viola gives off and wish I could play in an ensemble again. But with my daughter taking up the violin this year, perhaps a duo will have to do.

3. I love Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars. This is a love that is close to my heart and something I share with my daughter and Kyle as often as I can.

4. I make an awesome arroz caldo. Translated from Tagalog, it means “rice soup”. It’s more of a rice porridge with chicken, garlic, and lots of ginger. Think of it as the Filipino version of chicken noodle soup and you’ll understand how comforting this food is for me.

5. I cry. A lot. At every movie, show, commercial, and Christmas song, Kyle can always count on a tear or two from me. And he laughs good naturedly about it. More than once at the movie theater, members of Team Kyle will turn their heads and whisper, “Stop crying!” or “Is Leah crying yet?” But as one memorable movie character stated, “I just have a lot of feelings.”

Stay safe and brave, SuperCaptainBraveFAM!

All of the books in the SuperCaptainBraveMan series are available in our shop or www.amazon.com

My book Someone Said is available at https://tinyurl.com/SomeoneSaid

Don’t forget to like and follow us for more content and upcoming announcements!

Instagram: @supercaptainbraveman

Facebook: www.facebook.com/supercaptainbraveman

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Book Life

Welcome to 2021

Hello and Happy 2021!

As we enter the new year, many exciting things are bound to happen. Milestones we will celebrate. Together or apart, joy reaches us all in these moments.

After all…

The SuperCaptainBraveMan book series will be celebrating its 5th year anniversary this April!

And since our first book launch took place on Kyle’s 10th birthday, he will be 15 years old in April, too.

If you’re new to the world of SuperCaptainBraveMan or an old friend who just wants to say hello, then it would be my pleasure to catch you up on the last 5 years of the SuperCaptainBraveMan book series and the wonderful person who inspired it.

Kyle is an amazing child, sorry, teenager, who has shown all who meet him what true bravery and strength look like.

Diagnosed at the age of 2 with a rare genetic mitochondrial disorder, Kyle has persevered through the years with the help of his parents, sister, family, nurses, doctors, physical & occupational therapists, teachers, and friends.

Since the first book, he’s grown tall enough for a new wheelchair. Almost as tall as some of his nurses, myself included! Kyle has a specialized sit-to-stand apparatus that allows him to stand for a while to strengthen his muscles. He’s also upgraded some of his equipment, including the ventilator and the tracheostomy tube that help him breathe, to meet the needs of his growing body.

In addition to the physical, Kyle has expanded his mind culturally. He has visited many places and seen many sights. He even went on a cruise and watched a Cirque du Soleil show. (More on that in a future blog.)

Throughout all of Kyle’s experiences and the spirit he’s shown these past 5 years, he’s inspired the SuperCaptainBraveMan series to grow with him.

The series has grown to include four hardcover books as well as a spin-off series. Here’s a quick recap of the books in The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan.

Released in April 2016, Book 1: A Day at the Park introduces the world to SuperCaptainBraveMan and his message of inclusiveness. In 2017, Book 2: A Spectrum of Love invites readers to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Book 3: Nurses are Amazing! debuted in 2018 and is dedicated to all of the nurses who work hard for their patients. Our latest hardcover in 2019, Book 4: Down on Safari! brings us face to face with Mia and Jack, who teach us that—extra chromosome or no—family is everything.

While our hardcover books explore how SuperCaptainBraveMan helps others, the companion series The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan: A Kyle Adventure gives us a glimpse into Kyle’s everyday life. In it, we see how he learns from the people around him and watch him reach out to make lifelong friendships along the way.

The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan: A Kyle Adventure book series includes:

Book 1: Trixie, the Super Dog where Kyle learns about service animals and the importance they have on the humans in their lives. Book 2: Signs of the Season introduces Kyle to David, a classmate who is deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. Book 3: A Sweet Summer opens the conversation of Type 1 Diabetes to Kyle as he meets a new friend, Arjun, at summer camp.

As the world of SuperCaptainBraveMan expands, we look forward to the unique people we’ll meet and the stories we’ll tell. All of the books in the SuperCaptainBraveMan series are available in our shop or amazon.com.

2020 has been a year to remember for many reasons. We here at SuperCaptainBraveMan have followed Kyle’s lead and faced it with strength, trust, and most of all, bravery.

So, to the SuperCaptainBraveFAM, new and old, happy new year!

Don’t forget to like and follow us for more content and upcoming announcements!

Instagram: @supercaptainbraveman

Facebook: www.facebook.com/supercaptainbraveman

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Book

Our On-Air Interview with Autism Live

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We were so excited to join host Shannon Penrod and Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson on Autism Live this past Wednesday, November 8th. It was an honor to share word about our books and to talk about the inspiration behind the SuperCaptainBraveMan series, our own little hero, Kyle.

You can watch the full clip below. Tell us what you think!

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Book

TinySuperheroes features SuperCaptainBraveMan!

brave-craft-with-lunchbox.jpgDuring the month of June, TinySuperheroes & SuperCaptainBraveMan are teaming up to encourage all kids to be BRAVE! It was a match made in heaven to discover TinySuperheroes, founded by warrior mom Robyn Rosenberger. Both of our organizations strive to empower kids battling illnesses and disabilities to feel like superheroes.

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This month’s TinySuperheroes mission is I AM BRAVE, featuring the one and only Super Kyle, a.k.a. SuperCaptainBraveMan! June’s TinySuperheroes’ mission box includes an awesome character-building DIY frame activity, a cool Super Kyle trading card, SuperCaptainBraveMan stickers, and a SuperCaptainBraveMan promo for a 50% discount off books purchased on SuperCaptainBraveMan.com! Just use promo code TINYSUPERHEROES at checkout. Visit TinySuperheroes.com/Mission to find out how you can sponsor a mission and cape for a special child. 👦🏻👧🏼⚡️💥

 

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Book

World Autism Awareness Day + SuperCaptainBraveMan

IMG_9724It’s April 2nd — the day the world lights up in blue to spread awareness about autism spectrum disorder. In honor of this important day, we’re so excited to announce the launch of our second book in the SuperCaptainBraveMan series, A Spectrum of Love!

Together, Victor Lodevico and I respectively illustrated and wrote this SuperCaptainBraveMan book to help young kids learn about autism in a simple, colorful way. We know autism is not an easy condition to explain to adults, let alone kids, so we took some inspiration from the parallels of ‘being on the spectrum’ by using a rainbow metaphor and color theory to show different kids with different talents and interests on different shades of the spectrum.

We hope this story touches many families all over the world. Click on over to watch our introduction  video on YouTube, visit SuperCaptainBraveMan.com, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo Books or Smashwords to buy the hardcover or ebook, and help spread the word!

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Book

TeamCoben spent his afternoon learning about Kyle, aka SuperCaptainBraveMan

team-cobenThe original testimonial was written by TeamCoben. I am reposting it here with permission.

While Coben has been through so many obstacles, he still has a very hard time accepting that other#children are #sick like him. As #adults I think we want to find others in a similar situation as ours for a sense of #comradery maybe it’s just to know that we’re not alone… ultimately we just want someone to #understand.
But with kids it’s different. Coben and most the kids we meet, keep to themselves, and don’t seem to find the same comfort as adults do in finding someone in like circumstances.
But here is a book created by #parents and their son’s daily #caretaker helping us as parents to open segways with our kids, both #healthy and sick, to grasp an understanding of what it’s like to be different. I asked Coben, “what did he think about other children he had seen in wheelchairs before he had one of his own?” Very sweetly and innocent he said “I thought maybe their legs were broken”
Kids are so matter of fact, so I think it’s important to use family time as an #opportunity to educate them on these topics.

Not long ago Coben had a VERY long day in chemo and wanted ice cream on the way home. Of course I stopped, unloaded his wheelchair, put on his mask, sought out a ramp and worked our way into the shop. Outside sat a family of 5, a set of parents and kids ranging from maybe 5-10… the middle child asks “what’s wrong with him, why is he like that?” (In my mind I responded “you mean what’s right with him?”) But I of course simply said “well, he has cancer” to which the youngest child immediately asks “Is he gonna die?” Something in me didn’t feel comfortable offering a definite “NO” since #truth is no one really knows… there are treatments, not cures. But I realized that I was the only one panicking over that question, Coben didn’t seem to think anything of it.
He has been so educated on his situation that he has a mature grasp on the question of his own mortality.
So again we are reminded, there is so much we can learn from our kids. Take this #September for#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth as an opportunity to discuss these topics with your children.
They won’t learn compassion and understanding out in the world, so why not use the time at home to learn it as a family? Put your child in the situation… “if you became I’ll tomorrow… if you were confined to a wheel chair… if you couldn’t visit with friends : how would you feel?”
I strongly encourage you to check out Super Captain Brave Man, whether or not the kids walk away with lessons, you certainly will!

#TeamCoben #gogold #bethechange#settheexample #familylife #bestlifeever #read#teach #educate #compassionproject #feels#cancersucks #kidswithcancer#childhoodcancerawareness

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Book

SuperCaptainBraveMan Joins the TinySuperheroes Squad

Today was a very special day! Kyle ‘SuperCaptainBraveMan’ Norman received a special package in the mail from TinySuperheroes!

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When we opened it up, we found a ‘Welcome to the Squad’ box inside!

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The Squad Box contained a bracelet, sticker, squad postcards and best of all, a personalized cape!

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We’re so proud that Kyle ‘SuperCaptainBraveMan’ Norman now has an official TinySuperheroes cape and is part of an elite squad of special kids. These kids are Fighters. Survivors. Can-Doers. Never-Say-Noers. It is such an honor for Kyle to be one of the chosen few!

Watch the unboxing video here.

About TinySuperheroes

Tiny Superheroes mission is to empower all TinySuperheroes everywhere one cape at a time. Robyn Rosenberger is the founder of TinySuperheroes. In August 2012, her nephew was celebrating his 2nd birthday and so she made him a superhero cape. She then went on to make more capes for other kids (and dogs) in her life.

During that time, Robin had been following a blog about a sweet girl named Brenna who was born with a very rare and severe skin disorder called Harlequin Ichthyhosis. She was born just 2 months after her son, and so Robin became invested in her journey, reading her blog daily. One day, Robin decided to contact Brenna’s family to send her and her brother capes in January 2013. At that moment, TinySuperheroes was born.

A small hobby of making capes turned into a movement in just months. In its first year, with the help of supporters all over the world, Tiny Superheroes was able to send over 4,000 capes to extraordinary kids in all 50 states and 16 countries. Children with cancer, congenital heart defects, Epilepsy, undiagnosed syndromes, rare diseases, Autism, and all sorts of other TinySuperhero powers have revealed their true identities through their capes.

Robin

To learn more about Tiny Superheroes, to order a cape or to nominate a child for a cape, please visit http://www.tinysuperheroes.com/

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Book

SuperCaptainBraveMan Wins Gold from Mom’s Choice Awards

We’re so excited to announce that The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan, Book 1: A Day at the Park, just received a Gold Award from the Mom’s Choice Awards®!

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The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) judging panel bestows the gold award to items it deems as among the best in family-friendly media, products and services. The MCA evaluation process uses a propriety methodology in which entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality and appeal.

“We are thrilled to be honored with a Gold Mom’s Choice Award,” says Jennifer Norman, the book’s co-author. “The MCA Honoring Excellence Seal of Approval gives credence to our effort to touch people’s lives with lessons of friendship, courage, compassion and inclusion through the SuperCaptainBraveMan character.”

To be considered for an award, each entrant submits five (5) identical samples for testing. Entries are matched to evaluators in the MCA database. Evaluators are bound by a strict code of ethics not only to ensure objectivity, but also to ensure that the evaluation is free from manufacturer influence. The five evaluations are submitted to the MCA Executive Committee for final review and approval.

MCA“Our aim is to introduce families and educators to best-in-class products and services,” explains Dawn Matheson, Executive Director of the Mom’s Choice Awards. “We have a passion to help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and educators know that products and services bearing our seal of approval are high-quality and also a great value. The MCA evaluation program is designed to incorporate the expertise of scientists, physicians and other specialists; but we also engage parents, children, educators, and caregivers because they are experts in knowing what is best for their families.”

With the evaluation now complete, the testing samples of The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan, Book 1: A Day at the Park will be donated to schools, libraries, hospitals and nonprofit organizations.

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Book Uncategorized

The art of being a great nurse: illustrated by Victor Lodevico

Here’s a video we put together so you could get to know Victor Lodevico, the artist behind the SuperCaptainBraveMan series.

Not only is Victor an amazing illustrator, he also happens to be Kyle Norman’s nurse in real life.

You’ll see the love and commitment Victor has for Kyle, which has helped fuel the magic of his artwork.

We’re so thankful for Victor, and we hope you enjoy his SuperCaptainBraveman illustrations as much as we do!

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Book Readings

Picture This…SuperCaptainBraveMan Heads to Nursery School

Last week, Nurse Leah Lodevico had the privilege of reading The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan to a spritely class of four and five year olds at Pacific Clinics Head Start Program Lexington Center in Glendale, California.The children were very attentive and engaged. After hearing the story, they drew pictures of what they remembered. Check out these masterpieces!

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Little Linda outlined Emily smiling brightly…
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Then colored her picture in beautifully. Way to go, Linda!
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There’s a lot of love happening in this playground picture!
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Little Angelina’s creation could be aptly titled, “Kyle. Blue Period.”
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Monica is surely going to be a brilliant abstract artist when she grows up!
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Remy expresses her joy at watching her mommy, Leah, read the book to her class. Hooray!!!

If you’d like your child’s class to have access to The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan, let us know! We’d be happy to get in contact with your child’s school. Or better yet, you can purchase books and gift them to your local schools, hospitals or libraries by ordering at www.SuperCaptainBraveMan.com.