CONCORD – An advocate mother and her superhero son will serve as the honorary chairs of the annual Childhood Chronic Health Conditions Awareness week. Christina D’Allesandro, of Salem, and her son, Anthony Smith, a hearing impaired 5-year-old, were the inspiration behind the creation of Blue Ear, a hearing aid-wearing superhero.
The week is an annual celebration of “amazing young people who overcome serious health issues,” said Jeff Woodburn, the Executive Director of the state Council for Youths with Chronic Conditions. It runs from November 17-23 with a full set of activities including an awards presentation to an adult and business advocate on November 19 at 11 a.m. at the Concord Holiday Inn.
D’Allesandro, who coordinated NH CARES, a network of social service-related providers who monitor state policy, and her husband have two children. Anthony, who has mosaic trisomy 22, a genetic disorder that’s left him with multiple right sided abnormalities, including no ear on the right and a loss of hearing in the other,received national attention when Marvel Comics created a superhero in response to letter from his mother. Anthony was reluctant to wear his hearing aid and told his mother that superheroes don’t wear hearing aids. When this comment was passed on to Marvel, they responded by creating Blue Ear. In one cartoon, Blue Ear says “Thanks to my listening device, I hear someone in trouble,”
“Christina and Anthony’s story is an inspiration to us all,” Woodburn said, “It teaches us about personal resiliency, creative parenting and the unique challenges that our families face.”
The CYCC is a statewide advisory and advocacy organization that addresses issues that impact the lives of children with chronic illness and their families. More information is available at www.ccachc.org.