Freya Booker's love of music and her father's presence provide the ultimate inspiration.
The internet is awash with videos of father-daughter dances, but this one of a young Swedish girl has captured hearts everywhere.
Freya Booker was born prematurely, leaving her with significant medical complications, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and an undiagnosed brain condition. As a result the now-10-year-old has never stood alone unassisted … until now!
Freya’s parents, Graham Booker and Johanna Ekström, have been encouraging their daughter to find a little more independence through something they call “inch steps” — a form of progress that can build confidence and ability.
“Being able to stand and walk would give her a sort of freedom,” explained Ekström. “And we just want to make sure that we do the right thing for Freya.” And thankfully in their drive to make Freya more autonomous they have managed to find the perfect motivators: music and the love of her daddy.
“[Freya] loves all kinds of music, from Adele to Metallica,” Graham shared with Good Morning America. So a little music and a loving father drove Freya to stand up so she could have her first dance.
Although a little unstable, Freya managed to stay on her feet. And even when she had a couple of near falls, she laughed it off with her dad. So it’s not surprising that millions have been inspired by the dancing duo.
The video was initially posted on Graham’s Facebook page, but was then shared by TinySuperheroes, an organization that sends superhero capes to thousands of kids across the globe who are living with disabilities or illness to “help empower them to see how truly powerful and courageous they are.”
The extraordinary children also receive a monthly special mission that builds their confidence, and gives them a sense of self worth and belonging. Freya’s dance, titled “INCHSTONE ALERT: Super Freya Dances!” was the perfect example of her “super powers.”
The impact of taking such extraordinary steps are far-reaching. “It’s really remarkable when you see a family transformed from fear and grief into advocacy and confidence,” explained Robyn Rosenberger, the CEO and founder of TinySuperheroes with GMA. This advocacy can only inspire other families faced with similar challenges.
The fact that the video has gone viral is another powerful tool for these superheroes.”Every viral video like Freya’s helps combat isolation and promote positivity in the online community of children that are facing unique challenges. Everyone has a story that is so worth hearing,” pointed out Rosenberger.
As for Freya and her family, they’re continuing to inspire beyond their impressive dance moves. Graham has set himself his own mission of running six marathons around the world in honor of his daughter. With three left to do, hopefully he’ll continue to be inspired by the sheer joy and love of his daughter.