Most kids look up to superheroes, but one special boy has actually become a superhero in his battle with an incurable disease that may eventually spread to his brain and cause rapid deterioration.
Ben Roseth is known as "Power Boy" by his family and friends, a name given to him by his mother in order to help the 8-year-old cope with a debilitating disease known as Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). He and his three siblings, who all have autism, make up the group the "Fearsome Foursome" and together fight against the ALD.
Ben used to be fearful of the hospital and treatments that help him gain back some energy, according to his mother.
"Ben can get a fever and then all of a sudden his legs don't work," his mother Brandy told HLN. "He has trouble keeping weight on. The signal doesn't go to his body that tells him he's hungry."
When Ben contracted the H1N1 virus last year, friends and family gathered around to encourage him … that's when they came up with the idea of "Power Boy." His siblings, wanting to help their brother and be a team, quickly joined in and all have their own superhero personalities.
"They all became a team," Brandy explained. "They are called the Fearsome Four." Like real superheroes, the Fearsome Four do good deeds for their community and try to help others whenever possible. "They've gotten dressed up to pick up sticks in neighbors' yards. They've also donated teddy bears to children in hospitals."
While being a superhero is hard work, raising four children with special needs is also extraordinary. Brandy is divorced, raising the Fearsome Four on her own; she knows that she has a lot of support, both physically and virally.
She set up a Facebook page documenting Ben's adventures, and so far the page has 205 "likes." "Power Boy ALD Awareness" offers messages of support for Ben and his family, as well as for others with ALD. Ben's brothers have designed superhero bracelets featuring the motto: "No Retreat No Surrender."
Brandy is hopeful that people will respond to Ben's page and donate to the ALD Foundation, which will provide more medical treatment for those with ALD, and fund research about the disease. Until a cure is found, "Power Boy" and the "Fearsome Four" will be out there, raising awareness and doing all they can.