Sam and Rachel Callander are on a mission. Their passion to change people’s perceptions of disability is contagious – so much so that they raised $90,000 via PledgeMe in just a month, money they needed to fund the Super Power Baby Project.
The Super Power Baby Project is a photographic art book self-published by Sam and Rachel and due to be released in July this year. Award-winning photographer Rachel travelled the length of New Zealand photographing children with chromosomal and genetic conditions while “comms guy” Sam organised all the background work and logistics. The book will feature 71 captivatingly beautiful children with extraordinary abilities, or “super powers”.
Rachel and Sam had no personal experience with disability until six years ago when their little girl Evie was born. After a straightforward pregnancy, with only a murmur of concern regarding their daughter’s kidney at the 20-week scan, Evie was born and for six hours everything seemed perfect. But then she stopped breathing momentarily and doctors informed Sam and Rachel that they should prepare for the worst.
Tests followed and then the discovery of a chromosomal defect so rare it didn’t have a name. The Callanders were told their daughter would never walk, talk or even thrive at all in the limited life she had ahead of her.
While Sam and Rachel never removed themselves from reality, they refused to let all the negative medical talk define their little girl. They were determined to celebrate what Evie could do. She had super powers, not to mention invaluable life lessons for her parents and everyone else she met.
Her precious life was limited to two and a half years, but her legacy will live on through the Super Power Baby Project and her parents’ gentle encouragement to look beyond the limitations presented by children with disabilities and instead see the wonder of amazing children, here for a reason.
Rachel and Sam firmly believe we need to challenge typical labels of “failure to thrive” and “incompatibility with life” and instead look upon these children with awe and ask:
“What can you do in your life?”
“How will you change your family?”
“What can we learn from you?”
Rachel concludes that, “Through the Super Power Baby Project we seek to be part of the conversation, to encourage people to see a different perspective and to offer families hope.”
SUPERSTARS AND THEIR SUPERPOWERS
|Tymon: Gentleness and care for all people, the ability to smile in tough situations, even painful ones. Gives snuggly cuddles that bring perspective and peace.|
|Marco: Marco is a house designer who is extremely stylish and has great taste in music. He is never messy. He draws out deep love in people.|
|Ayda: Musical with great rhythm and dances differently to all types of music. An infectious giggle, high emotional intelligence – she can read people.||
|Cleo: Cleo melts people’s hearts. She has frog-like flexibility and possesses intense cuteness. She loves people and is great at making friends.|
|Evie: Gorgeous giggle, the bravery and strength of the toughest hero, adventurous, ability to draw people to her like a magnet. Evie invoked care and love beyond imaginable depths, used her whole body to communicate, was mischievous and daring.|
|Hamish: Hamish has an awesome smile and you can’t help but smile back. Determination! Always pulls one sock off when he’s at the supermarket.|
|Yma: Yma brings lightness to her family. She is caring and affectionate and teaches incredible patience. Yma finds joy in small things.|
To order your copy of the book go to superpowerbabies.com