Renee Bergeron is a mother of a special needs child and a photographer. She looks at her son, Apollo, on a daily basis and wonders about his potential, what he will become, and who he will transition into as he grows toward adulthood.
Apollo is 4-years-old and has a double aortic arch, a rare heart defect. He has already endured two heart surgeries and has a g-tube fitted into his torso, aside from other medical procedures that prove how strong the little guy really is. In Bergeron’s eyes, he is her little superhero. As a result, she came up with the Superhero Project, a photography experiment that placed children with special needs into the shoes of superheroes.
The project began, as Metro reported, when Renee took photographs of Apollo posed in heroic positions while wearing a cape and superhero boots. Apollo had a blast being the subject matter for the photos and loved seeing the end result. His portrayal as a superhero led her to invite other children to share in the same experience, and the Superhero Project was born.
Alongside Apollo, a red head named Cody became a caped crusader with Downs syndrome, Melanie has autism, epilepsy, and sensory processing disorder, but she is still a heroic fairy in the photographs. Victoria has Congenital Femoral Deficiency, but that doesn’t stop her from being a superhero princess. These are just some of the children that were part of the Superhero Project and will forever cherish the opportunity to shed the labels of their disorders and become whatever they want to be, without restriction.
The Today show shared the Superhero Project with their viewers and gave Bergeron an opportunity to bring awareness to special needs children and explain that they are just normal kids and their restrictions should not imprison them into stereotypical situations that coerce people to shelter them from the real world. Instead, she explains that their confidence should be boosted and the should be encouraged.
“I hope they boost their confidence and give them the ability to be proud of themselves despite their disabilities or despite their struggles.”
Bergeron’s photos have received high praise from across the world, encouraging her to continue her quest to bring awareness to special needs children and to open up the boundaries that those children are so often held safely behind. Many others thank her for her inspiration and the feel-good vibe the images present.
[Photo Courtesy: Renee Bergeron/Little Earthling Photography]