It started with two moms on a mission, bonded by their children who both have congenital heart defects. They made a cape and has their idea ever grown.
These superhero capes are providing comfort to children worldwide. Duncan Whisinnand is one of them. The 2-year-old has already had heart surgery. "You know, your world comes crashing down." said Duncan's father, Tom.
When Duncan was 15 months old, his mom Kelly took him to the hospital. Duncan had a runny nose that just didn't seem to go away. "We had some X-rays done of his chest and she was looking at the X-rays. It was a complete surprise that his heart was way too large."
They had a heart echo done and the news wasn't good. "Doctors came in right away and said he had the coarctation of the aorta and needed to get him into surgery immediately," said Kelly.
They went in through Duncan's back, cut part of his aorta and sewed it back together. "You can't hold them and you want to," said Tom. "Nobody prepares you for that first night."
One thing that helped Duncan while he was at Children's Hospital was a superhero cape from Heart Heroes. Kitty Burton and Sondra Dubas co-founded Heart Heroes in 2009. It started as an idea just to help little superheroes like Duncan, but now thousands of these capes have gone all over the world.
"Thirteen different countries, almost every state in the U.S.," said Sondra. The cape requests pour in daily." Sondra and Kitty were even featured on NBC Nightly News in a "Making a Difference" segment. Both of their kids have congenital heart defects. They made their first cape for Kitty's son.
"It gives them courage as they go to all the doctor's appointments," said Kitty. "Our kids are heroes and we know it, so it's comfort for us as well."
"These kids put these capes on and it's just instant," said Sondra.
It was for Duncan. "He just runs around in that cape," said Kelly. "Seeing all the other superheroes running around, it's just amazing."
Today, Duncan is healthy. He still has high blood pressure and has to go back for heart check-ups, but he shouldn't have to have any more surgeries. Duncan is about to become a big brother. The Whisinnands are expecting a baby girl in a few days.
Heart Heroes is putting together their first "fun run" on Sunday.
Heart Heroes Super Run
Sunday, October 13th
Lake Zorinsky, Shelter #5
156th & F Entrance
1 p.m. registration, 2 p.m. fun run/walk