Kids don capes and masks for Superhero Day at U of M Masonic Children's Hospital

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Children at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital celebrated their inner Wonder Woman and Batman as part of its annual Superhero Day.

Activities included a dance off with a favorite superhero, pups dressed in caps, bingo broadcast in each patient’s room, face painting and more.

The party in the lobby of the hospital was all about distracting kids and their families from the diagnosis that brought them to the center in the first place. For seven-year-old Emmalie Skull, it’s a new diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and so far, a weeklong hospital stay. 

“It’s been a long week for her, so today is amazing to see her laughing and jumping, and playing,” said Cheri Erickson-Skull, Emmalie’s mom.

Meanwhile little two-year-old Logan is just beginning his visit due to a rare form of cancer and his fourth round of chemo. 

“He’s done great with all the poking and prodding and lab tests,” said Keith Brown, Logan’s dad. “He’s strong. He’s a superhero to me.”

While without a doubt Superhero Day is a chance to make some fun hospital memories, it’s also about celebrating the medical superheroes. In one case, it meant helping a tiny patient travel out of her room for the first time in a year. 

“To a lot of these families, these surgeons and doctors are their heroes,” said Theresa Bunkers, a certified child life specialist. “They saved their child’s life and the nurses and the everyday heroes who come in the middle of the night and allow mom and dad to get some sleep. It’s great way to involve everyone in the hospital. We are all superheroes to each other.”

For a brief time, kids can simply be kids. 

Superhero Day is put on by the Child Family Life Association, which usually helps families with various needs from prepping for surgery to games. This is the seventh year of the celebration.