Real Life Superheroes

Nikolas Toochek, age 9, is attempting to do something no kid has ever done before.  He wants to run 7 marathons on 7 continents.  He ran his first in Delaware, last December:

A few days ago, Nikolas completed his second marathon – in Antarctica.

Nikolas and penguin

The weather got pretty nasty during the run, and race organizers were forced to bundle everyone onto an airplane, and fly them back to Chile.  Nikolas ran the final 8 miles of his marathon there.

So why is Nikolas doing all this running?  To raise money for Operation Warm, a not-for-profit organization his grandfather founded.  The charity buys warm clothing for kids in need.

Nikolas isn’t sure when and where his next marathon will be.  You can follow his adventures here.

* * *

Heroes are everywhere – in comic books, movies, and of course MY UPCOMING NOVEL!  But real-life superheroes pop up in some pretty surprising places.  Like the running track, or even the basketball court.

Check out this video that’s been making the rounds:

So often these days, sports stories have to do with money, or winning-at-all-costs, or banned substances (yeah, I’m looking at YOU, Lance Armstrong).

But that’s not the whole story.   Here’s an entire football team of real-life superheroes:

It doesn’t take much to be heroic.  You don’t need X-ray vision, or six-pack abs.  All you need is a little kindness.

* * *

7 year-old Jack Hoffman has had some bad luck lately.

Two years ago, he  suffered a seizure, and nearly died of respiratory failure.  Then he was diagnosed with cancer.   And then he had two brain tumor surgeries.

But Jack has had some good luck too.  Between operations, he met his hero Rex Burkhead – a running back for the University of Nebraska football team, the Cornhuskers.

Recently, during a break in his treatment, Rex invited Jack to the team’s annual spring scrimmage.  As you’ll see, the team had a surprise planned:

Jack took to the field in full gear, and ran a heroic 69 yards for the game’s final touchdown.  The crowd of 60,000 went nuts.

Jack is currently on a break from his 60-week chemotherapy treatment.  His tumor has shrunk substantially in the past year, and his father, Andy, says he’s “doing great.”

More on Jack’s heroism here.

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