We are a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization who is immensely passionate about helping children as they battle their way through childhood cancer.
Our Mission is to help spread awareness of pediatric cancer and to be the voice for these amazing warriors. We aim to help through their battle while being focused on their needs and making an impact, no matter how big or how small that may be. We aim to remain constant and supportive for the survivors and help keep the legacies alive of the fallen.
Learn more about what we do and why
SBMH began in 2017; small and independent. Through volunteering and advocacy, the passion and determination became more. We, as a nonprofit, believe that these children deserve so much more than what they are receiving. We want to help share our mission and continue to spread pediatric cancer awareness through advocacy whilst helping the children and families as they battle through their journey.
My journey began Feb 2017. Ever since I was 6, I knew I wanted to become a doctor to help save children. I got my footing into the pediatric world at age 16 and hurdled through many obstacles with the intent of keeping my eye on my goal. I spent 7 years in pediatrics before I realized that primary care wasn’t for me. I wanted to do something of more meaning; something that would change the life of children. I dove into pre-Med where my focus was pediatric surgery and oncology as I spent my entire college career conducting research. Upon the beginning stages of med school, I became pregnant and I took a step back to focus on motherhood. But it never hindered my passion; in fact, it was heightened.
2017 is the year my life was changed divinely. This was the year that opened my eyes with the clarity of the reality that I already knew, yet never truly embedded within me as life rolled through the motions. The year that made me pray ever so deeply and to hug, love, laugh, and say I love you even more to my children. I hug my children harder, I love deeper, and I live every moment in awe. My passion for these superhero children runs deep within me and I will continue to pursue advocacy; to spread awareness of childhood cancer and to partner with research foundations to focus on less toxic treatments and a cure.
Children are my life and I really wanted to do something impactful. I decided God had plans for me when I resigned from my position at the hospital and focused on my children. I was then introduced to a little boy named Blake. He had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; sadly he passed away at the age of 2. My heart was invested in him and I took his passing very hard. As I looked upon my little boy’s face (who at the time was close to Blakey’s age) I cried. I was so heartbroken and so angry! Blakey passed away due to complications of failed treatments.
There has to be SO MUCH MORE for these incredible little superheroes. On the day Blakey died, I was revived with a more acute and fine-tuned purpose. The image of his lifeless body enwrapped in his mother and father’s arms ripped me apart. The sorrow and anger consumed me; I used this anger and sorrow to fuel my mission.
I wanted to pave a path of advocacy and to join forces with all of the small organizations out there to make our voices louder than ever for these children.
Ian is a little boy, 2 years old, who was diagnosed with DIPG; an inoperable brain tumor with a short life span after diagnosis. After a year past diagnosis, he is still alive today; thriving. How incredible is that? Not only do I want to help celebrate such an accomplishment, but I want to understand why his results vary so vastly from others with the same diagnosis. Little Ian “Buddy boy” is such an incredible superhero and he too has stolen a piece of my heart.
I’ve been asked many times, “How can I endure these stories, how can I invest so much into children that I don’t know? Why do I care so much to advocate and stand beside these children when I have 2 healthy children of my own?”
My answer ─ because I don’t believe that a child has to be mine to be a voice, to want to help; to love them. Because every child on this earth deserves a chance no matter what; every child is precious and should never have to fight with every cell of their body to LIVE. Because someone NEEDS to give a damn.
I’ve always had this innate ability of empathy. I feel deeply and I put myself in other’s shoes. As I began my journey, I did this privately and discretely. I don’t do this for recognition; I do it because I sincerely care. I push through this mission with the belief that children deserve a voice and the speaking of experiences whilst sharing their stories help to spread the awareness. I don’t believe in turning away from the hard things. We need to be brought face to face with the reality that the world puts a sheath over. We need to unveil the stories of these little warriors and allow parents to focus on their children during this fight. It takes a village and no child fights alone.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many parents and children along this journey. And I’ve had the privilege of discussing many cases with parents while falling in love with each and every child virtually. I try to be as personable as possible as I believe that it’s imperative to look at each and every child as the very special child that they are; they are not just a number.
It’s been a long road as Small but Mighty Heroes has come from the shadows and our mission has been introduced to the public. I realized that being discrete and private didn’t allow for voices to be heard. This journey has never been easy. I have the most incredible support from my husband who has stuck by my side every step of the way as I continue to pursue my mission. He has wiped every tear, listened to every story, picked me up when I felt defeated and beside myself; questioning what the hell I was doing and why I thought I was good enough to try and make such a significant change. Who am I? My husband never lacked the words of support to help me get back on my feet. Through my tears, anger, frustrations, heartaches, ambitions, and so many nights of late night research and interviews, my husband has been there and has supported me. He helps in many aspects of this organization and never shows to be too busy for his services. Our children too are incredible as they both endure every event, every travel, and every effort that encompasses this organization. I couldn’t be more proud of our children for their passion to want to help sick children.
After nearly 7 months of publicly announcing our existence, on October 1, 2019, all of the hard work had finally been noticed. We are registered with the state of FL and the IRS as we are now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
This is just the beginning of bigger changes. We are small, but mighty.
Our amazing team is committed to helping spread awareness of pediatric cancer and to help make a difference.
Justin is part of the committee team of SBMH. Not only is he the supportive husband of the Founder/Executive Director of the organizaiton, Tina Downing, but he also is the driving force behind the donation collections and the physical force of the event set up. Justin helps to facilitate the fundraising outreach and works his magic to introduce us to local businesses as we aim to build our village.
Justin works a full time job as a fueling technician and the hours vary significantly yielding up to 16 hours a day. Although he works such a strenuous work day, he always makes time to help where he can for the organization and for the cause.
When Justin was presented with the passion that Tina possessed, he never questioned her dreams. In fact, he stood by her side and always stood firm, a superhero in her eyes, and asked "How can I help?"
"A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out." - George Bernard Shaw
Learn more about our upcoming events, fundraisers, and more!