The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Hospital Heroes

Actors who play superheroes in movies become superheroes in real life when they visit sick children in hospitals.
Window washers at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital in Chicago dress up as superheroes to surprise children staying at the hospital.
Photo courtesy of MCT Campus
Window washers at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago dress up as superheroes to surprise children staying at the hospital.

Look, out there in the hallway! It’s a nurse! It’s a doctor! No, it’s Superman!

Children around the world have been experiencing this excitement in hospitals when actors who play superheroes on the big screen come to visit them. Actors such as Chris Evans (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill in “Guardians of the Galaxy”), and Jamie Alexander (Lady Sif) have made the trip to various hospitals to surprise their sick fans.

Most recently, Downey Jr. visited 7-year-old Alex Pring who has a underdeveloped right arm. In collaboration with The Collective Project, Limbitless Solutions presented Pring with a free bionic arm from a genius engineer, Tony Stark (aka Iron Man).

Limbitless Solutions was founded by Albert Manero, the creator of a bionic arm prototype. Currently working towards his doctorate at the University of Central Florida, Manero has found a cheaper way to create bionic limbs through 3D printing.

Manero has recently been working with The Collective Project, a group that is sponsored by Microsoft and has a goal to “shine a light on the stories of students who are making positive changes in their community,” according the organization’s Tumblr page.

Downey reached out to this project to help deliver a very special arm to Pring, “who loves superheroes and riding his bike,” according to the promotional video that the actor tweeted. Pring met Downey, who masqueraded as his character Tony Stark, in a hotel room in Atlanta, where the actor presented Pring with a replica Iron Man bionic arm.

Downey brought his own Iron Man arm, in its Stark Industry container, of course, and the pair discussed the arms and the continuing process of making them work. The duo bumped knuckles and held (iron) hands in the video.

While neither Mr. Downey or his publicist, Allison Garman, were available to comment when contacted by Drops of Ink, Downey expressed his support of the program and gratitude for the experience over Twitter:

FullSizeRenderCourtesy of Robert Downey Jr. via Twitter

Other movie superheroes have also been spotted making a difference in the lives of children. Evans and Pratt, who respectively  play Steve Rogers/Captain America in the “Avengers” universe and Peter Quill/Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” were recently spotted in two hospitals after a Super Bowl bet.

According to The Huffington Post, the actors made a bet when the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots faced off in Superbowl XLIX. Evans, a Patriots fan, bet Pratt, a Seahawks fan, that if the Seahawks won, Evans would dress up as Cap and visit Seattle Children’s Hospital. If the Patriots won, Pratt would stress up as Quill and visit Christopher’s Haven in Boston.

While the Patriots took home the trophy, both actors made good on the bet, visiting both hospitals on different dates. The bet itself raised $27,000 for the two organizations.

Pratt, the technical loser of the bet, visited Christopher’s Haven on Feb. 6. He was joined by Evans, though only Star-Lord was present. Parents and kids were ecstatic and the hospital’s Facebook page thanked the stars for their time.

“Chris Pratt and Chris Evans visited with the families here at Christopher’s Haven in honor of the ‪#‎TwitterBowl‬ bet. The visit was complete with New England Patriots jerseys for Chris Pratt and lots of toys for the kids,” the post said. Newbury Comics and Disney also sent toys along with the Chris duo.

Captain America visited Seattle Children’s Hospital a month later, on March 7. Pratt was along for the ride as Evans took pictures and delivered more gifts in costume. One epileptic patient’s mother expressed her gratitude for the visit from the two.

“Meeting them was a nice reprieve for us,” Kelli Beechum told the Seattle Children’s Hospital’s blog. “So many of our visitors are doctors, and the conversations are medical. I can’t wait to watch the Captain America movie with Oskar (her son). It will be like he knows him personally now.”

In a similar episode, Alexander, who plays Lady Sif in the Thor movies, visited children at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Nov. 2013. Alexander was in full costume and brought along her shield and sword for the kids to pose with in pictures.

Other actors, like Andrew Garfield (Spiderman), have also done their part with kids. Garfield visited a children’s charity in Brixton, London in costume on April 9, 2014. According to Buzzfeed, the actor chatted with the kids, played basketball, and showed off his spidey senses in costume, while later shedding it for more face-to-face time with the kids. Christian Bale called a leukemia patient to talk Batman with him from his hospital bed in Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Batman actor also visited the victims of the 2012 Aurora, Colo., shooting that took place during the “Dark Knight Rises” premiere.

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Hospital Heroes