A Day for Heroes at MedStar Georgetown
“When I saw him, I was really excited!” said Andy. “I didn’t know he was going to be here in his Batmobile! Batman is my favorite.” Andy was one of the many young superheroes awaiting Batman’s arrival for the Hope for Henry Foundation’s 2015 Super Hero party.
April 9, 2015
Batman helps Pediatrics celebrate at annual Super Hero Party
(Washington, DC) - "I didn’t know today was going to be like this!”
He stood with his blue boots firmly planted on the ground. Shoulders back and eyes forward. Cape blowing in the wind. He assumed the stance of a super hero that said, ‘I’m ready for action.’ As patients and staff scurried into the hospital to escape the morning rain showers, this mini superhero stood tall with great courage and strength. For 11-year-old Andy Parra, a pediatric oncology patient at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, this was a day for heroes.
The Batmobile’s engine sounded. Batman had arrived.
“When I saw him, I was really excited!” said Andy. “I didn’t know he was going to be here in his Batmobile! Batman is my favorite.”
Andy was one of the many young superheroes awaiting Batman’s arrival for the Hope for Henry Foundation’s 2015 Super Hero party. After a hand shake, a brief tour of the Batmobile and a video shoot, Andy and Batman grabbed their capes, and walked down the hospital halls to join Spiderman, Superman, Catwoman and other fellow superheroes at the party.
Andy dressed up as Batman when Hope for Henry threw a party for the kids at MedStar Gerogetown last Halloween. He had mentioned that Batman was his favorite superhero, so the foundation chose Andy to meet Batman first this time.
Laurie Strongin established Hope for Henry in memory of her son Henry, MedStar Georgetown patient, who died of Fanconi’s anemia, at the age of 7. His motto was ‘live well and laugh hard.’
“We started Hope for Henry to bring fun, laughter and entertainment!” said Strongin. “We wanted to ensure that these kids have as normal of a life as they can while they fight cancer and other life threatening illnesses.”
Hope for Henry provided capes, toys, bracelets, as well as face painting and cartoon drawing stations at the party. As many attendees dressed up as their favorite super hero, patients and parents could also take photos with the adult-sized superheroes. A few doctors and nurses made an appearance too.
“These kids are the real heroes. They are the ones fighting,” said Strongin. “It is so wonderful to see how they respond to this event. When the superheroes arrive, they really transform the hospital. It makes everyone forget where they are.”
Aziza Shad, MD, chief, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at MedStar Georgetown, remembers Strongin’s son, Henry, who loved super heroes.
“The Hope for Henry fund has brought such joy to so many children at Georgetown,” said Dr. Shad.
For Kal Harris, 14, also a MedStar Georgetown patient, the party was a surprise. “When I got here, all I could think is ‘I love Spiderman,’ and ‘yes, I need a Spiderman cape! please!’” said Kal.
The excitement and the smiles from the children are a couple of reasons Batman and his fellow superhero friends keep visiting MedStar Georgetown.
“After hearing their stories and getting to meet kids, like Andy, who have smiles on their faces, it’s just awesome,” said Batman. “It’s an honor and my sincere privilege to come here and make a difference each year.”
Paula Ludwigson, mother of 2-year-old Spiderman Brock, who has been a patient at Lombardi for more than a year, dressed up as Robin for the 2015 Super Hero Party.
“It’s really amazing because we cannot often go to other parties with kids,” said Ludwigson, “This is his only interaction with other kids.”
Lugwigson turned to her son to ask how he likes Hope for Henry parties. His only response:
About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.
MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital—Knowledge and Compassion Focused on You.
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