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Local News

Superheroes bring smiles to pediatric patients at Central DuPage Hospital

A window washer dressed as Spider-Man scales the exterior of the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital women’s and children’s pavilion April 30 as part of National Superhero Day.
A window washer dressed as Spider-Man scales the exterior of the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital women’s and children’s pavilion April 30 as part of National Superhero Day.

WINFIELD – Visiting the doctor was a little less frightening for 6-year-old Rose Holub of DeKalb as she was able to meet some of her favorite superheroes April 30 at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital as part of National Superhero Day.

"I like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and Captain America," Rose said after getting her picture taken with Wonder Woman.

Her mother, Lisa Holub, said her daughter enjoyed the event.

"It makes her not think about going to the doctor as much," she said.

As part of the day, Ginger Manzella of St. Charles, a child life specialist at the Winfield hospital, was visiting with pediatric patients dressed as Captain America. She has participated in the event for the last several years.

"My job is actually working with all the kids here in the hospital, so [it's nice] getting the kids to be excited about something and find some joy when they're here," Manzella said. "We have capes for all the kids that are here, so they get to decorate capes and masks and things like that and be their own superheroes."

In addition, Love My Melon, an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer, was part of this year's event.

"They donated 400 beanies, I think, for us to hand out to all the kids and their siblings," she said.

Manzella said she is honored to participate in National Superhero Day.

"These kids deserve it," she said. "They are our heroes every day."

Along with superheroes visiting pediatric patients, window washers dressed as Spider-Man, Superman and Captain America scaled the exterior of the women’s and children’s pavilion as part of the day. West Chicago-based TJ Maintenance Inc. supplied the window washers.

"Watching the smiles on all the kids' faces is enough for me," TJ Maintenance President Tom Morrow said. "The biggest joy we get out of it is just watching the kids' faces light up. I don't care what it costs or what it takes if I can put a smile on their face."

This year, four of the company's employees participated in the event.

"Literally, they draw straws [every year] because everyone wants to do it," Morrow said.

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