By Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana
This little hero was laid to rest by those he idolized most, his favorite superheroes.
8-year-old Jeremiah JJ Duval first met the humble heroes, a group of volunteers who dress up as superheroes to surprise kids at hospitals and schools, during one of their visits.
JJ was born with the lower chambers of his heart facing backward, and during a risky surgery at a New Jersey hospital to correct it, he sadly passed away.
His mother Jeka contacted the Staten Island, NY based group 'Humble Heroes' and asked them to help carry his casket and be part of the services.
NYPD, FDNY, teachers, and combat veterans all joined forces to lay JJ to rest. One of the heroes, Kenneth Restrepo, told Radio.com that it was amazing to see how many people JJ had touched and that he felt honored to play a small role in his life.
"We usually go to hospitals and schools to see kids dressed up as superheroes, to try and lift their spirits. We saw 8-year-old JJ in one of our visits and he was a magical kid, always smiling and really good spirits and a strong like a real superhero. His mother reached out to us with news of JJ's passing and that she wanted us to attend the funeral and carry his casket. We wanted to honor her wishes, so we gathered eight volunteers; We had Spiderman, Captain America, Batman, Robin, Thor, The Flash, and Starlord."
Today the Humble Heroes were asked to help send a young Hero home. This was an arduous task that we were very honored to assist in. We were grateful for the opportunity to help this family through this time. Anyone can be someone’s hero . @sglarocca @tattoosbykbar @_tankthefrank @anthony_cips @johnnypignatelli @standuprandazzo @cenzoferonte @freemanthony7 thank you for the amazing wristband with #jjthesuperhero logo in it.!!!!
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"For me personally it made me remember not to take family for granted amongst other things, life itself. It was more than an honor to be there and the ceremony was honestly very joyful and full of positivity even though this boy passed away young. He definitely touched my heart and the rest of the volunteers feel the same way. We all collectively gain something from this experience and we hope that we can help more people along the way someday if they ever need us."
JJ's family has set up a GoFundMe page in order to help pay for the costs of his funeral.