July 27 - Hero for a Day - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

A CALL TO DUTY! The Pittsburgh chapter of the For A Day Foundation received notice that one particular 10-year-old could use some superhero motivation before his next radiation treatment and Captain America and Wonder Woman leaped into action! We had 3 volunteers who decorated the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh with Avengers banners or ceiling decorations, arranged a brunch of donuts, bananas, clementines, cereal, apple slices with almond or peanut butter, fruit snacks, and an array of drinks, and set up stations for superhero-centric activities such as onomatopoeia picture frame-decorating, superhero cape and mask personalization, superhero sunglasses selection, and a photo booth with plenty of props and our two costumed heroes. We printed photos of each masked and caped little superhero with Captain America and Wonder Woman on our portable photo printer so that they could take the photo home with them in the frame they decorated prior to treatment. 

Participating in the party activities was fun for all 5 kids involved, and was also definitely transformative and very therapeutic. We saw children who refused to go to treatment agree after Captain America began demonstrating his superhuman strength (push-ups with the kid on back!), sudden return of appetites when they were able to eat with a superhero, and a kid who hadn't "smiled in days" climb out from a blanket and make everyone laugh with creative hero identities when participation was not expected by the nurses or parents. 

Afterward, we were asked if we could make a special trip to see a 5- year- old chemo patient, and we happily obliged, taking a pink cape and mask with us! The visit was very warmly received and we left with hugs. Before we left the floor, we were spotted by a few other children and of course made time for a few more quick visits. 

It was a tremendously "super" day and we all felt a tiny bit braver.