Florida teen transforms NICU patients into tiny little heroes for Halloween with these homemade superhero capes
By Logan Wamsley
Not all heroes wear capes, but that doesn’t stop this hero from making them — or giving them to some Majical children at a Majical time of year.
Last week, Rachel Maretsky, a 14-year Orlando native and Dr. Phillips High School student, donated over 130 capes to the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital.
Each and every cape is traced, cut, and glued with care by her, her friends, and her family. The colorful emblems adorning the tiny Halloween accessories include the ones worn by Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Incredibles, and more.
The purpose, according to Rachel in an interview with Spectrum News, is to help families “feel a bit of happiness when their babies are in the NICU. It makes me feel good to do good.”
The gesture has become something of a Halloween tradition. Two years ago, after being inspired by a segment on NBC’s “Today” show, she delivered 110 capes. Last year, she upped her total to 125. “What touched me the most was how little the babies were and how they wouldn’t get to have a first Halloween costume,” she says.
Rachel also detailed how her project has a personal meaning, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Her best friend, she said, was born premature. According to the Quint Boenker Preemie Survival Foundation, babies born at 25 weeks have only a 50 percent chance of survival, and 50 percent of those born before the 26th week have some form of disability.
Without question, some of the babies in Winnie Palmer are fighting some heroic battles. “Doing this project and meeting the babies and their families helped me see that the NICU babies really are superheroes,” says Rachel.
Although Halloween is known for its costumes, sometimes it is only in costumes we can express our true selves. Nowhere is this more true than at Winnie Palmer. Thanks to Rachel, 130 babies are going to look just like the superheroes they really are.
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