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Rappelling superhero window washers bring joy to hospitalized children

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A relatively recent phenomenon sweeping the nation is that of everyday people with both rappelling and skyscraper window washing skills donning their superhero costumes and uplifting the spirits of hospitalized children. Kids too sick to get outdoors still manage to clamor to the hospital windows for a peek of Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Ironman giving them the thumbs up - while soaping up and hosing down the exterior hospital windows.

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On April 19, The Los Angeles Times published a report of the latest superhero sighting at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, where window washers dressed as Captain America and other superheroes rappelled down the exterior of the hospital, waving to the kids inside. The superhero window washing event has become a semi-annual event at this particular children’s hospital.

Nurses and family members do their best to try and get the children, many very ill, frail, and “undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious disorders,” out of their rooms to see their superheroes in action. The activity gives the kids a much needed distraction from their daily regimen inside the hospital.

"Wow. They are so high up," said a wide-eyed Mason Turngren, 8, whose colon is failing and who has been in and out of the hospital the last four years. On Tuesday, he was exhausted from the most recent battery of tests and had to be coaxed to the window. Once there, he was transfixed. Mason waved to the heroes and put his hand on the glass to exchange a high-five with Captain America.

On this particular April morning, Mason managed to spend half an hour at the windows watching his favorite superhero, Spider-Man, wave to kids inside and wash the outside windows of the twentieth floor of the hospital.

WKYC reported that another team of superhero window washers assembled at Akron Children’s Hospital last month – much to the delight of the hundreds of children hospitalized there. After washing the windows outdoors, some of the superheroes went inside the hospital to spend time with the children.

Anthony Michaels, who donned his Batman cape and cowl for the kids at Akron Children’s Hospital in March, said it’s not about another day at work, “It’s about the kids.” Michaels said he knows that he’s just an ordinary guy, but that he’d wear the suit for the kids everyday if he could.

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