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Superheroes, St. George and a boy fight cancer

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Minnesota Superheroes United, a group of superhero and villain costumers from the Twin Cities. In back with wings spread is John Whitt of Cedar, Minn. as Batman; from left is Trevor Olson of St. Paul as the Joker, Matt Willis of Bloomington as Star-Lord, Lynn Wloszek of Bloomington as Kitty Pryde, Paula Morton of Duluth, Sylus Rodemacher of New Hope as Robin, Samantha Campbell of Minneapolis as Wonder Woman and Rebecca St. George of Duluth. (Photos by Naomi Yaeger)2 / 11
Dexter Ojeda, 8, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that affects children. 3 / 11
Karen St. George, dressed as Mother Nature, poses with her daughter, Jenny St. George, at the benefit for Dexter event at the Clyde Iron Works. 4 / 11
The Blue Water Big Band filled the event hall with upbeat music of the ‘30s through the ‘60s. 5 / 11
Tricia Tapp, a member of Faith Under 40, helped organize the benefit for Dexter. Here she holds up a scrapbook containing well-wishes for Dexter from those who attended the event. 6 / 11
Dexter Ojeda and his brother Mathias “Mat” Ojeda, 11, play with oversize chess pieces. 7 / 11
Dexter’s father, Manny Ojeda, says, “Throughout this whole experience we’ve become a closer family.” 8 / 11
The Rev. Christine Anttila of Our Saviors Lutheran Church smiles at Paige Williams, youth director for the church. 9 / 11
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Seth Erickson a donned bright chartreuse-colored cape as he helped with the carnival games. 11 / 11

Superheroes abounded at Clyde Iron Works on Sunday afternoon to help a boy named Dexter fight cancer.

Children and adults ran around in bright capes of orange, green, purple, red and pink, played carnival games and posed for photos with the superheroes. Children jumped in a bouncy house and adults relaxed in chair massages. The sound of Blue Water Big Band filled the air.

All the fun was to help young Dexter Ojeda. The event coincided with his eighth birthday. In October he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that most commonly affects children age 5 or younger, though it can occur in older children.

Budgeteer readers may remember a photo of Dexter and his mother, Jenny St. George, in a Nov. 24 story about the kickoff for open enrollment for MNsure. While St. George was able to get insurance for her son through MNsure, the family has many costs related to Dexter's treatment that are not covered by insurance, such as hotels, meals and gas costs.

"We always want to make sure family is around so he's never alone," said Dexter's grandmother, Karen St. George. Her hair was colored green and sprouted flowers to represent Mother Nature. "Mother Nature brings more wonder and devastation than many superheroes," she said.

With icons of St. George in their home, the grandparents make use of their family name by teaching Dexter about the power of St. George who, legend has it, was a dragon-slayer. Instead of dragons, they are slaying cancer, she said.

The event was organized by Faith Under 40, a young adults group of Our Saviors Lutheran Church on Grand Avenue. More than 500 people attended.

Manny Ojeda, Dexter's father, is grateful for those involved in the special day. "There is no way we could have done this on our own," he said.

Donations may be made to Team Dexter, Account No. 1768590, 215 N. 40th Ave. W., Duluth, MN 55807 or by by visiting www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/6dj6/teamdexter.

See Dexter talk on video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR-2aDU_qH4&feature=youtu.be

Hear the Big Water Blue Band at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHoJecV1Sws&feature=youtu.be

Naomi Yaeger

Naomi Yaeger is a freelance writer and the former editor of the Budgeteer. See her blog at www.DuluthDailyPhoto.com.

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