It’s the time of year for dress-up, but the hundreds of superheroes that took over the halls of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) in red capes recently don’t need costumes to show their strength.
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The annual event is, according to CHOA, a “day to honor our superhero patients for their bravery and resilience as they fight off major illnesses and injuries.”
Take Peter. He was born without his right forearm and was fitted for a prosthesis at 6 months old, which he wore until he was 5. He decided he didn’t need it until at 10, when he tried rock climbing with a group of kids who were also missing limbs. Just two years later, Peter competed in the Paralympic National Championship and won his division in rock climbing.
Childrens Healthcare of AtlantaPatients wear red capes to show off their superhero strength from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Israel (Captain America) is a 4-year-old patient battling ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia), the hospital told ABC News. “He suffers from neuropathy due to chemotherapy treatments. A body painting artist volunteered to transform him into Captain America because it gives him the strength to conquer his battle. He is pictured with his nurse, Gabby.
In 2013, Kaleb was diagnosed with desmoplastic sarcoma and had surgery to remove the tumor and one of his kidneys, CHOA told ABC News. Kaleb went through cycles of chemotherapy and radiation at the Aflac Cancer Center and after being in remission for about a year in June 2016, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He underwent chemotherapy for the second time in his life and in September 2016 he received a bone marrow transplant. Today, he still battles graft versus host disease. Kaleb is a huge Atlanta Falcons fan and was named honorary captain during the recent Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins game and flipped the coin while wearing his cape.
Childrens Healthcare of AtlantaKaleb, who is a patient at Children’s Healthcare, wears a Falcons Atlanta red cape to show off his superhero strength.
Five-year-old Sydney took flight at iFly indoor skydiving, where “she soared like the superhero she truly is,” CHOA said. Sydney was born in 2012 and before her mother even had a chance to hold her, she was transported to Egleston’s cardiac intensive care unit. After she was evaluated, Sydney was officially diagnosed with a coarctation of the aorta, a ventricular septal defect and two atrial septal defects. At 2 days old, Sydney underwent her first heart surgery to correct the coarctation. At 4 days old, she underwent open heart surgery to correct her remaining defects.
Childrens Healthcare of AtlantaPatients from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta sport red capes to show off their superhero strength.
In the following months, Sydney finally started to thrive. She was able to come off a feeding tube and appointments went from weekly to monthly to now yearly. Sydney is now a happy, outgoing 5-year-old, according to CHOA. She loves being a big sister, singing, dancing, and going to school, and wants to be a rock star like Taylor Swift when she grows up.
“Her mom says that she was born with the ‘exact personality she needed to fight the hard battles she did at the beginning of her life.'” CHOA said. She calls her scars “superhero scars.”