When you are a small child and you’re battling for your life, you need all the help and encouragement you can get. You need good medical care and support from friends and family.
It’s also not a bad idea to have a superhero cape made specifically for you.
CBN News’ David Brody traveled to Seattle to learn more about one woman’s desire to lend a helping hand to sick children across America.
Robyn Rosenberger is the owner of Tiny Superheroes, located in Seattle. She is outfitting thousands of kids with superhero capes as they battle the forces of disease.
Last year, she made a few capes for fun. She sent one to a girl with a severe skin condition, and she sent some to a few other sick kids too.
Now, the cape closet is full with requests pouring in from almost everywhere. Approximately 1,700 children around the country wear these capes branded with their first initial for the whole world to see.
Rosenberger quit her job as a software manager to keep up with the demand.
“It’s quite life-changing to, first of all, know how many kids are out there who are dealing with something quite extreme," she told CBN News. "And then it’s also just been life-changing to see how a pretty simple piece of fabric really changed the perspective of what’s going on.”
Meet ‘Super Cameron’
This piece of simple fabric is important to 7-year-olds, like one-of-a-kind “Super Cameron.” He was adopted a few days after his birth. At age 2, doctors diagnosed him with restrictive cardiomyopathy, a fatal heart condition. Without a heart transplant soon, he’ll die.
Cameron’s mom, Marci Spray, says she never knows what will happen when she wakes up every day.
“With Cameron’s condition, the issue is that they go into sudden cardiac death, so it’s something where you have no warning. It’s just all of a sudden the heart stops,” she says.
Cameron is now first on the transplant list, and that means Spray carries a pager at all times, ready and hopeful that it will bring good news.
When asked why the pager might go off, Cameron told CBN News, “Because they might have a heart.”
Cameron is no doubt deserving of his superhero cape. During one three-day hospital stay, doctors drew 16 tubes of blood from him.
But Cameron was concerned with normal kid stuff.
“Every time the doctor comes in, I ask her, ‘Can I have a Popsicle? Can I have a Popsicle?’” he says.
However, his time in the hospital has made him think of what he wants to be when he grows up.
“I want to be a doctor because I want to help other kids to be healthy,” he says.
Maybe helping others will come soon for "Super Cameron," but right now he just can’t do normal kid stuff. That’s why his cape is so important to him.
“It helps with his confidence, like when he’s outside playing with his friends and they want to go play ball,” Shawn Spray, Cameron's father, says. “He’s like, ‘Hey, let’s play superheroes, and I’ve got a cape so we can do this and that.’ It kind of keeps things localized and keeps things at his level. It gives him some control over his life.”
Binding Wounds, Healing Hearts
Cameron’s family knows that, ultimately, God is in control of it all.
“If we didn’t believe that God was going to take us through this, then I don’t know how we’d do it,” Shawn Spray confesses.
Cameron’s mom set up a Facebook page called Psalm 147:3—Cameron’s Hope, after the verse in the Bible about how God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
“It just seemed so fitting,” Marci Spray says. “Cameron’s heart is broken, and [God's] going to have to heal a lot of wounds to fix his heart, and so that verse just spoke to me.”
As Cameron prayerfully waits for his new heart, he plays with Spencer, his sidekick brother, and reads up on his Bible too.
“I have a huge Bible,” Cameron beams.
In the meantime, he's busy raising money for those hefty medical bills—and does so by selling Cameron’s Hope bracelets for $5 each.
The beauty behind the Tiny Superheroes effort is that this is not just about sewing capes. It’s about self-esteem, empowerment and working together with families to raise cash, awareness and hopefully medical help for the kids.
“These kids aren’t sad or feeling sorry for themselves or weak in any way," Rosenberger says. "They are more joyful and more strong and more brave than I ever was at their age with no health problems.”
And now children like Cameron and many others have their superhero capes, ready to conquer the battles ahead.