Role models play a big part in developing our character, morals, and ethics. For millennia, we’ve idolized superheroes from a young age. Fast-forwarding to the present, the comic book industry and eventually Walt Disney’s MCU formed. Despite being fiction, these stories give millions of children, teens, and even some adults hope of changing their lives for the better every day. One of these kids was Ollie Jones, a four-year-old child born with leukodystrophy. Ollie Jones was a big fan of Spider-Man, who according to his father helped him to keep an optimistic view about his life, regardless of his fatal condition.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much Ollie’s family could do. His condition, leukodystrophy, is a genetic disease that is often fatal to young children. After 2 years of fighting his serious condition, Ollie Jones passed away in December.
A Quest to Engrave Spider-man
“I really wasn’t expecting this — it’s another massive blow. I felt sure they would allow it… That makes no sense to me — characters die in their films all the time. I think this is all about money.” – Lloyd Jones after Disney declined his request to engrave Spider-man in his dead son’s tombstone
Unfortunately, Disney’s executives didn’t want to be the “good guys” in this tale. In an attempt to pay tribute to his son’s favorite superhero, Spider-man, Lloyd Jones planned to engrave the character in his son’s tombstone. However, in order to do that he first had to request the local council for permission. They told him to contact the copyright holder, Walt Disney Company, who declined his wish.
According to Disney, doing so would ruin “the same innocence and magic around our characters that brought Ollie such joy”.
“The Internet Justice League” Helps a Grieving Father
However, it didn’t take long for the online community to hear the story of this father in his quest to fulfill his son’s dreams. When it looked like all hope was lost, things took an unexpected turn. Outraged by Disney’s decision, the internet decided to make a petition requesting Disney executives to change their minds.
Fortunately, Mr. Jones was able to make enough noise to get some news outlets to publish his story and a petition to make the Walt Disney Company change its mind. However, this isn’t the end of this tale; Disney hasn’t made any new comments about this story yet. Even with the aid of the press and internet users, it’s currently unknown if Disney will allow Ollie to rest in peace with his favorite superhero.
Maybe We Can All Be Superheroes
“A… definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being, and will go out of his or her way to help them—even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.” – Stan Lee
The story of Mr. Jones is proof that heroes don’t need a cape to make a difference in this world. Although he knew his son’s genetic disease could be fatal, he never gave up on his son. Even after his passing, he still strives to fight for him.
Maybe we don’t really need superpowers, fancy gadgets, or an extravagant uniform to make the world a better place. We just need people willing to make a difference in a world where the Good Samaritans don’t always get a happy ending. To help this mourning father fight the decision of Disney, you can sign the petition here.
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