Last year, Disney+ and Marvel teamed up to turn real-life kids into superheroes with Marvel’s Hero Project. The Hero Project honored 20 young people doing amazing work in their communities.
One episode of Marvel’s Hero Project featured Izzy, a 13-year-old taekwondo champion, who was born with arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis causes the joints to become locked in a fixed position, and Izzy’s legs and hands were most affected, and when she was younger, she wore leg casts. Through having an active lifestyle and a keen interest in taekwondo thanks in large part to watching her sister, Izzy learned to work with her disability.
I used to watch [my sister] do karate, and I used to do it with her when I was in the sideline, in casts too,” Izzy told The Mighty. “It’s important to me because it helped me a lot. And when I first started, I couldn’t kick above my knees barely and I had terrible balance. But now I’m way stronger than I was.
Izzy is a four-time ATA World Martial Arts Expo gold medal winner and a third-degree black belt. Izzy helps other kids learn martial arts in the Legacy Program at her gym, and her dedication to teaching other kids is what led her to be included in Marve’s Hero Project.
“I want people to get inspired by me and I want people to know that they can do anything, because if I can do anything, then they can do anything,” Izzy said. “You should never give up.”
Along with being included in the episode, Izzy also received her own comic, by writer Brian Smith and artists J. L. Giles (pencils and inks) and Carlos Lopez (colors) which you can check out here.
Marvel also was inspired enough by Izzy that Marvel’s Hero Project made a donation in the amount of $10,000 to the American Association of People with Disabilities in recognition of their support for youth and young leaders with disabilities. To learn more about AAPD, visit www.aapd.com.