South Jersey teen creates books in honor friend with special needs

VINELAND, New Jersey (WPVI) -- One South Jersey woman is turning special needs children into superheroes one book at a time. The mission to uplift those with disabilities started with the desire to encourage her own best friend as she fought for her life.

Trinity Jagdeo and Alexus Dick are best friends and have been since they met in kindergarten 14 years ago.

Dick, 19, has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that robs people of their physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells and spinal cord.

"It's hard for me to do normal things. Everyday things," said Dick.

During one of Dick's many hospital stays, Jagdeo noticed that her friend, who needed encouragement, didn't have someone who looked like her in the entertainment industry.

"She didn't have people to look up while she was going through her struggle," said Jagdeo.

She made it her mission to change that by founding the nonprofit "From We Can't to We Can" in 2018. She also wrote three children's books that feature kids with special needs as superheroes.

The main character in one of her books is Dick's younger brother, Zane, who was also diagnosed with the same disease.

"She says that I'm the strong one but I feel like she's the strong one because she always helps me in school and just fighting for me," Dick said of Jagdeo.

But it's Jagdeo who says she's had no shortage of inspiration from her best friend who motivates her as she continues the fight for people like Dick and her younger brother.

All three of Jagdeo's books are being sold on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A portion of the proceeds go to the family to help cover the cost of their care.
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