Health + Behavior

Grime fighters bring smiles to pediatric patients at UCLA

Window washers portray superheroes to the delight of sick children at Mattel Children's Hospital

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Mattel patient and the Hulk
Reed Hutchinson/UCLA

Bam! Kapow! Take that, dirt!

Patients at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA gazed skywards, their eyes riveted on five window washers dressed as superheroes. Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman and the Hulk waved merrily before polishing a few windows and descending from the roof.

Greeting patients with fist-bumps and Spidey sense, the grime fighters posed for photos and brought a super amount of cheer to young patients waiting on the hospital terrace at the fourth annual Superhero Day at UCLA.

“They were coming around and giving high-fives, and we took pictures,” exulted Aidan Troung, 6, who was thrilled to see his favorite superheroes up close. 

Rick Kincer, owner of the hospital’s window-washing vendor, Sunland Window Cleaning, created the event in 2013. The firm once again provided the colorful costumes and donated its staff’s time to entertain the kids. 

The visit brought smiles to the faces of even the most solemn pediatric patients. Many are coping with serious illnesses like cancer and organ transplants that require them to remain hospitalized for months at a time.

Kellye Carroll, director of the hospital’s Chase Child Life Program, said she’s watched even the sickest kids come alive when they’re face-to-face with the superheroes

"Events like this give the children a chance to forget they’re in a hospital and just feel like a kid again,” she said.

Reed Hutchinson/UCLA
A patient gives Spider-Man a high-five.

 

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