A new online campaign titled "Mr. Awesome" is paying tribute to a 7-year-old who died earlier this month in a pool accident.
Calder Sloan's parents, who live in North Miami, recounted how they were often in awe of their son.
"He was a superhero," said his father, Chris, at Calder's funeral service. "As he grew up, he just amazed us with his athletic ability. I was like, 'Carla, is this kid really ours? Because he's like …,'" as his wife shrugged her shoulders, eliciting laughter from the hundreds who gathered to pay tribute to the 7-year-old.
The comic relief allowed a little pressure to escape the room that day.
No one could fathom what the Sloans had gone through. Calder was pretty excited on April 13, when he and a family friend were set to jump in the pool for the first time in months. The avid swimmer challenged his friend to a race. As soon as the friend went into the pool, he felt a shock and immediately got out. But Calder continued on, swimming toward a pool light that was faulty due to a detached ground wire.
"Somehow he was shocked by that, started shaking, and as we understand it, he went into some form of unconsciousness," his father told WPLG TV in Miami.
Calder died and according to Local 10, the medical examiner confirmed that the 7-year-old was electrocuted. The tragedy happened just seven days after his birthday.
"The world is a worse place, because we're not going to get to realize the potential of what Calder Jacob Sloan was capable of," Chris said.
But Calder's spirit is living on thanks to an online campaign launched by Jim Cahill. A self-portrait that the 7-year-old drew with the title "Mr. Awesome" is making the rounds on the Internet. Family and friends are taking pictures of themselves with the drawing. The portrait has also popped up as a projection on the front of the American Airlines Arena, in the Miami Dolphins' offices, amid the New York City skyline, and in photos with public figures like Chris Bosh, Alex Rodriguez, and Sen. Bill Nelson.
"You are the awesome's in this!" his father wrote on Facebook regarding the "#MrAwesome" campaign. "We know Calder, who believe it or not, could be shy in big crowds, is loving this. Our hearts are broken at having this awesome kid ripped away from us but we're standing strong with each other and feeling all the positive vibes from people we know and many we don't."
To join in, simply print out this photo and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag "#MrAwesome".
- Family & Relationships