Baylor nursing alumni turn hospitalized kids into superheroes
Imagine you’re 6 years old again. But instead of running through the playground, climbing trees, and learning to ride a bike, you’re stuck in a hospital bed, surrounded by fluorescent lights and the hums and whirs of medical machinery.
Unfortunately, that’s the reality for many children in the United States. But some Baylor nursing alumni are making a huge effort to make these kids’ experiences memorable for something positive: they’re turning kids into superheroes.
For their senior year, Jordan Loetscher, BS ’13, and Cody Reynolds, BS ’13, were tasked with deciding the Baylor Nursing Class of 2013’s give-back project. Rather than raising money to donate an item to the school, they decided to hand-make and deliver superhero capes to children battling serious illnesses.
“Especially during nursing school, it was very evident to us that the process of healing is not just a physical process,” Loetscher says. “In order to get well, there’s not just your physical health — there’s your emotional health, your psychological health, your spiritual health — and it became so evident in the hospital that the people who were in better moods and felt hope and felt love were the ones that were more likely to get better faster.”
After graduation, the project continued to gain momentum. Eventually, Capes 4 Kids, as it came to be called, grew large enough to partner with Union Coffee House in Dallas as a space for their “cape factory.” Between 40 and 100 volunteers of all ages meet there every month to sew capes. Leftover materials are transformed into bears with capes of their own (because sic ’em) and become the children’s “superhero sidekick bears.”
“Capes 4 Kids strives to take care of their psychological and emotional wellbeing by giving them a little push and saying, ‘Hey — you are a superhero battling this super villain that is whatever disease process you are going through, and we’re here for you. And not only that — you are awesome, you are a superhero, and here’s your cape to prove it,’” Loetscher says.
Sic ’em, Capes 4 Kids!