Former Preemies Dressed as Superheroes Spread Joy in Boston NICUs
The preemie-power mission wasn't to beat the bad guys but to spread joy and care packages to babies and famiilies in the NICU.
They may not be faster than a speeding bullet or be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (yet), but a team of pint-sized superheroes are doing just as much good as that caped crusader in Metropolis.
Over the weekend, Nick, Olivia, Scarlett, Grayson, and Ella dressed up in purple superhero capes and roamed the floors of nine Boston-area hospitals. Their preemie-power mission wasn't to beat the bad guys but to spread joy and care packages to babies and famiilies in the NICU.
It's an issue that hits close to home for these five kiddos, who were all born premature and spent their early days and months in the hospital. Through their goodwill mission, the superheroes proved to overwhelmed parents that their babies won't always be so tiny, that their lives won't always be snaking tubes and blaring alarms. It's a message the moms and dads seemed to appreciate. "It's hard to imagine when you're in this situation and your baby is so small," mom Sasha told Boston's CBS News. Her baby, Kai, was born at 29 weeks and three days and weighed just two pounds. "So I felt a lot of hope."
The remarkable weekend was organized through the March of Dimes as part of World Prematurity Day, which was held on Tuesday and aims to raise awareness for preemies and their parents. The day included everything from skyscrapers and bridges awash in purple light to an adorable video by actor Chris Pratt and his son, Jack, who was born nine weeks early.
The issue of preterm births deserves the spotlight: According to the World Health Organization, some 15 million babies are born premature each year, and nearly 1 million die each year due to complications. But making it to their first birthday doesn't mean these kids are out of the woods. Many face lifelong disabilities, such as learning disabilities and issues with hearing and vision.
These are facts parents of preemies know all too well—but hopefully for the moms in dads in Boston, seeing those insanely cute mini superheroes sprinting up and down the hospital halls offered a little comfort and encouragement.
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.