Marvel’s Hero Project reminds us that not every hero is a superhero. The Disney+ series highlights young men and women around the country who are doing incredible work, and celebrates them by making them Marvel superheroes at the end of every episode!
One such hero is Seamus Casey from Wyoming, who was inspired by his grandfather, a U.S. military veteran. Wanting to do something to help the families of fallen soldiers, when he turned 13, Seamus organized a triathlon and raised more than $40,000 in support. He then went out and raised another $65,000 to fund more than a dozen scholarships for the children of disabled or fallen service members. And he’s not done yet!
With his Marvel’s Hero Project episode now streaming on Disney+, Seamus spoke to Nerdophiles about why he champions his chosen cause, how much it meant to him to become a Marvel Comics character, and how readers can get involved to assist military families. Learn more about his inspiring story in our interview, and watch “Soaring Seamus” now, here!
Nerdophiles: You’re a hero for the work you do, but what made your grandfather your hero? How did he originally inspire you?
Seamus Casey: I’ve always looked up to my Grandfather. He is a great man and has taught me the meaning of service and love of country.
NP: Then how did Marvel superheroes come into your life? What made you a Marvel fan?
SC: I love the Avengers movies and enjoy watching them with friends. Superheroes are something that every little kid loves!
NP: You completed this triathlon in support of fallen heroes that included bicycling in 90-degree heat and climbing over a mile. That would be a challenge for anyone, so what was the experience like for you?
SC: It was really challenging – physically, mentally and emotionally – but it was an honor to get to do it, especially for those military families who have sacrificed so much for my freedom and the freedom that we all get to enjoy.
NP: What was the biggest lesson that you learned from that challenge?
SC: I learned that when you do something to help somebody else, you can achieve much more than if you were just doing it for yourself.
NP: Marvel’s Hero Project also spotlights the scholarships that you helped fund for the children of fallen or disabled soldiers. What made that your next project, and what does it mean to you to be able to help kids your own age?
SC: When I learned that there are military families who had lost a loved one and are not able to afford schooling, I was immediately called to action. I thought about what it might be like to lose my own mom or dad and decided to help those families through an organization called Folds of Honor. I decided to create a three-day triathlon called the “Dream of 13,” which represented my age at the time and the thirteen folds in the flag that is handed to the families of fallen service members. My goal was to raise funds for thirteen $5,000 scholarships totaling $65,000. I am honored to help other families who have paid the price for my freedom.
NP: How can Marvel fans help support your cause?
SC: Please visit my website and click the “Donate Now” button, which will take [you] to my secure page at Folds of Honor. 97 cents of every dollar donated will go directly to those families.
NP: What was your reaction to being part of Marvel’s Hero Project? What was the experience like?
SC: It was incredible! I was truly shocked to see myself, an ordinary kid from Wyoming, on such a big platform like Disney+. It was truly humbling to see the artists and editors at Marvel depict me as a superhero. I feel so blessed and grateful for the opportunity to share my mission with the world.
NP: What comes next? What are you doing after your Hero Project experience?
SC: This year I found out that there were 500 qualified [Folds of Honor] applications that went unfunded in 2019. Although my efforts have raised over $75,000, there is still a lot more work to do.
I would love to go to Yosemite Valley and partner with one of the legendary climbers like Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson or Alex Honnold! I hope that the attention I have received through Marvel’s Hero Project will help raise awareness and significantly reduce the number of unfunded scholarships in 2020.
New episodes of Marvel’s Hero Project stream Tuesdays on Disney+.