March 28 - Mayo Clinic St. Mary’s Rochester, MN

Our first ever Child Life Week Celebration event, Hero For a Day, at St. Mary’s was a blast. We had stations with nails, makeup, tiaras, face painting, crafts, capes with masks, and lots more fun. We had five girls and four boys come down for the Hero fun, and we did around eight or nine room visits in addition to that, seeing another six boys and five girls.

Two of our volunteers were purple For a Day heroes and one was Spider-man! The children enjoyed playing games like basketball and paper airplane racing, and several wanted face paint, nails makeup and tiaras. The biggest hit seemed to be the capes and masks, as almost every child asked for one, including those in the room visits. One young girl’s mother thought it strange she’d pick a cape and mask over the tiara and makeup. She thought maybe the girl heard cake instead of cape, and she was right. Maybe someday we’ll bring cake to make everyone happy!

Many of the kids thought the best part of the day was meeting Spider-man in person. One young boy, in his bed during a room visit, perked right up, and though he was unable to speak much, made sure to scramble for his tablet to take his own pictures of Spider-man. Another little girl, the sister of a different boy in bed, chased the volunteers all the way down the hall to request a picture with Spider-man. Even the hospital employees and volunteers were excited to meet Spider-man.

One little boy in the playroom was the center of attention most of the time, probably about three years old. He wanted to race paper airplanes, take pictures, talk to everyone, and bring his sibling down to meet Spider-man, even though he mentioned to them all that this wasn’t the “real” Spider-man, specifically because of the “scratchy” stuff on Spider-man’s face.

There was one concerned child when it came to Spider-man, and she made sure to stay out of reaching distance initially. By the end, she wanted pictures, high fives and was as chatty as could be. All three kids and two parents in that family were dressed as heroes by the time they left, walking the halls with capes and masks.

This was a huge hit at the hospital and we’ll certainly consider another event similar to this in the future. Thanks, Mayo Clinic team!