The Hope for Henry Foundation hosted its 8th annual superhero party for pediatric patients here at Georgetown University Hospital. Laurie Strongin, founder of Hope for Henry, regularly hosts events like this to improve the day-to-day lives of seriously ill children and their families. The superhero theme is in honor of Strongin’s son, Henry, who was a patient here at Georgetown when he died of Fanconi Anemia in 2002 at the age of seven and loved superheroes.
The Lombardi Cancer Center atrium was all smiles during an afternoon of face painting, cape making, and picture taking. Among the crowds of children were Superman and Wonder Woman who walked around the room giving hugs and words of encouragement. When one little boy was asked what he looks forward to at these parties he simply said, “everything.” For one afternoon the children can forget they are in a hospital and enjoy snacks, games, and most importantly, their superheroes.
Superman and Wonder Woman also flew through the halls to patients who were too sick to attend the party. They visited with the children and their families who received a gift bag of goodies to enjoy while they undergo treatment. More than 100 patients were able to take part in this event and get a visit from the iconic duo.
Not only was this a joyous occasion, but for many an emotional moment that they will never forget. As Superman visited one child’s room, the patient’s mother said, “Through all of this sickness it touches my heart to know people care.”
Dr. Aziza Shad, MD, head of the Hematology/ Oncology pediatric unit also took part in the event as she watched her patients indulge in some entertainment. “This is an incredible way to keep these children motivated as they fight to survive,” she said.
Before Superman and Wonder woman left they made sure the children knew who they thought had the real super powers. “These kids are some of the strongest people we know and are the real superheroes,” Superman said. With faces painted and all smiles, the children of Georgetown are ready for anything that comes their way.
Laurie Strongin has since released her book, Saving Henry: A Mother’s Journey. The book chronicles the struggles she and her husband endured during Henry’s illness and the measures they took to try and save his life. For more information on Hope for Henry or Strongin’s new book, visit www.hopeforhenry.org.
Media Contact: Marianne Worley
Patient Contact: 202-342-2400