Our Superhero Travels the World With the Cammy Can Crusade

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by Jackie Babiarz |

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Our little superhero, Cammy Can, was created by an incredibly gifted artist, Jenn Kim, shortly after our daughter, Cammy, was diagnosed with Rett syndrome in 2011.

To help Jenn create a perfect superhero, we shared Cammy’s journey, gave her a photo to model the cartoon after, and asked her to create a monkey sidekick based on a collection of Cammy’s favorite monkey stuffed animals. Jenn captured Cammy’s indomitable spirit, determination, and infectious personality.  

The Cammy Can superhero was created to raise Rett syndrome awareness. (Courtesy of Jenn Kim)

The Cammy Can superhero was immediately put on T-shirts to help raise Rett syndrome awareness. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support through our first Cammy Can T-shirt sale. Friends, family, and friends of family wanted to show their support by wearing our little superhero across their chest to help spread Rett syndrome awareness. Over the last 10 years, hundreds of Cammy Can shirts have been seen around the United States! 

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My next big Rett syndrome awareness idea was inspired by Flat Stanley. A month before our first Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, which takes place each October, I put out a request via email and social media:


We would love your help to see where Cammy Can go!

Print out Cammy Can. Take a photo with her in front of a sign that reads your city/state, or a landmark, stadium, college, or take her to a sporting event or maybe with someone famous. In order to spread awareness, if someone asks you what you are doing, tell them who Cammy Can is and that she’s on a mission to reverse Rett! Finally, send me the picture. 

Our goal is to reach all 50 states by the end of October, Rett Syndrome Awareness Month. However, we don’t want the crusade to end in Oct., get that little girl around the world, doing cool things!

Bonus points will be awarded to any Duke fans who take Cammy Can into the Cameron Indoor Stadium with all the other Cameron Crazies!

The challenge caught fire. We were receiving fun photos with people of all ages holding Cammy Can near landmarks, inside stadiums, and with famous people. Not only did Cammy Can go to all 50 states before Nov. 1, 2011, she went to over 20 countries, too. 

Cammy Can | Rett Syndrome News | A young father in sunglasses and a T-shirt holds a toddler in front of a "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, and he holds a printout of the Cammy Can cartoon figure

The Madsen family takes Cammy Can to Las Vegas. (Photo by Deena Madsen)

Ten years later, Cammy Can has been to all seven continents and countless countries, and has met numerous Olympians and famous people, all while spreading Rett syndrome awareness. It brings us such joy that our little girl, our little superhero, is increasing Rett syndrome awareness all the while having some fun, and we get to see the photos. Lastly, Duke fans, Cammy Can has yet to go inside that famous Cameron Stadium

Actor Zac Efron knows Cammy Can! (Courtesy of Randy Lencioni)

Follow along with our journey at cammycan.blogspot.com.


Note: Rett Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Rett Syndrome News, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Rett syndrome.


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