KAPOW! A crowd of children and families huddled in front of the Sinai Hospital campus of the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics (RIAO); they awaited the arrival of their favorite superhero. There were many black and yellow bat symbols. It could only mean one thing: na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!
BAM! As the Batmobile pulled up outside of the RIAO, Batman greeted his legion of young superheroes. Batman spent the morning meeting friends both old and new, taking pictures and handing out bracelets and lanyards adorned with the bat symbol.
POW! When Elizabeth Gardner, age 8, got to see Batman, she was overjoyed. Elizabeth explains that she is “happy to be his friend. I know I can trust him.” Elizabeth first met Batman at the Save-A-Limb Ride, Walk and Festival. She told Batman that she was being bullied at school. Batman talked to her about the importance of being herself and he helped her feel better. Afterwards, Batman came to her school to give a presentation on bullying and invited her up on stage to tell the school that she was his good friend.[flagallery gid=54 name="Batman Visits the RIAO on August 12, 2013"]
Elizabeth’s mother, Lisa, says, “It was really important for him to make a stand for her ... She can sense that he has a good heart.”
Elizabeth, who has been a patient at Sinai Hospital since 2007, expresses her love for the hospital, especially her doctor, Shawn Standard, M.D., head of pediatric orthopedics at the International Center for Limb Lengthening at the RIAO. “Everyone is great,” she says. “They take care of you.”
The visits from Batman are important because, “It’s not just about Batman. It’s about the kids. They’re the real superheroes,” explains Lisa.
For Batman, one of the best parts of visiting Sinai Hospital is “knowing that I’m making a difference and helping the kids get well.” Sinai’s strong team of doctors helps children receive the care that they deserve, but Batman explains that, “a lot of getting well is up here,” as he points to his mask-covered head. Every day, the children at Sinai Hospital demonstrate how much can be accomplished with loving hearts and heaps of willpower.
Batman may have his hands full with fighting evil villains like the Joker and the Penguin. But no matter what he’ll always be by his friends’ sides when the Bat signal lights up the sky: “Sinai Hospital is my home.”
If you want to meet the Caped Crusader, come out to the Race for Our Kids on September 29, 2013 and the Save-A-Limb Ride, Walk and Festival on October 19, 2013.
- Written by Marcus Dieterle, a senior in the Literary Arts program at Carver Center for Arts and Technology, where he serves as a managing editor of his school’s newspaper, Catalyst. In addition to journalism, he works in the genres of fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and acting as the sole sound source of stability among the goofballs — ahem, friends — that he has grown to adore.
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