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Mom enlists help of Superhero for ill son's party – all are invited


Last updated 10/25/2018 at 7:06pm

FALLBROOK – Two moms met because of two special boys – one 16, one soon to be four.

The mom of 3-year-old Jett, Kelly Daffe, posted on a Facebook community group that she was searching for a teenager to play Spiderman at her ill son's birthday party. So many recommendations came in for Lucas Scott that Daffe tracked down his mom, Julie Miller, to secure Lucas' Cosplay and Parkour talents.

The mothers searched for the right venue and right atmosphere and figured the worst thing that could happen is that Jett will get a one-on-one experience with his very own Spiderman for his birthday – regardless of the turnout at the party.

Jett has leukemia – highly curable according to his mother – and undergoes chemotherapy treatments. His frequent hospitalization can result in the feeling of isolation.

When Miller learned about Jett's diagnosis, she recalled the days of throwing parties for her son that no classmates wanted to attend. Diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder at just about the same age as Jett, Lucas faced social challenges in his early years, just as Jett currently is.

Raising children with an illness and a disability, the moms found themselves instant kindred spirits. Living in a small, rural town can be a very supportive environment...or a very isolating one.

The Daffes recently moved from Seattle to Fallbrook for its year-round warm weather, its inviting small-town appeal, and its proximity to Rady's Children's Hospital, where Jett receives care. The geographic change brought hopes for Jett to play outside more often than he was able in rainy Seattle, to make friends and give the family an improved quality of life.

Daffe feared – as has been the circumstance so far with invitations for play dates – that no one from preschool would come to a birthday party for Jett. The little boy's birthday wish is to meet Spiderman, which 16-year-old Lucas will happily provide.

In order to make sure that Daffe's wish to have a memorable birthday party for Jett is fulfilled, Miller and her son Lucas came up with the idea to invite the whole town of Fallbrook to celebrate Jett. Lucas has found a connection to others through ComicCon, Cosplay, and performing arts in this supportive town.

Both mothers know the consequences of social isolation. One of the warnings that Miller was given when Lucas was just about Jett's age was that it was unlikely for him to master emotions, compassion or empathy; certainly not to expect any of this from him, and that his sensory challenges might mean he'd never want to be given a hug or give one.

"My son has developed into one of the kindest, compassionate, affectionate young men I know," said Miller.

"In our eyes, any teenage boy helping a child is really the hero of the story," said Daffe.

The Hornsveld family, well known for its contributions to the youth of this community, are providing their CAST Studio A for this event and a junior hip hop class. Hopefully, no villains show up.

So please join 'Spidey' Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at CAST Academy, located at 200 North Main Avenue, to celebrate Jett's fourth birthday. A 45-minute junior hip hop class is included in the first half of festivities. Superhero themed attire is encouraged, but adults in costume are being discouraged as it may be too overwhelming.

Submitted by Julie Marie Miller


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