A Hero Behind the Superhero Capes

A retired postmaster from Marshfield, Wisconsin, Linda Dick saw an article and turned it into an idea. A few years before retiring, she read about a project that creates and provides superhero-themed capes for children in hospitals and in devastated areas. Then, when retirement time came around, she decided that was what she should be doing.

Linda said, “I went up to St. Joseph’s Hospital—that’s what it was called then—and presented my idea to make capes for sick kids.”

Using a variety of designs, Linda says each cape has a superhero logo on the back and takes one to three hours to complete.

Linda knows from personal experience what cancer is like for a family. Her daughter Lindsay, who she describes as having been her best friend and confidant, passed away in December, 2016. Linda is married with two surviving sons who help her through the rough times. She also has nine grandchildren, two of whom were Lindsay’s and were aged two and four when their mother died.

“Lindsay was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in her check in February, 2016,” said Linda.  “She loved hunting so I made her a pink camo cape with superman logo in pink on the back. She wore it to many of her appointments, chemos and radiations.”

When Linda’s sewing buddy asked her to help her make some capes, she responded  with, “I got this.”

Linda says fleece is easy to work with, doesn’t need to have the edges sewn, and she can just cut out and add Velcro to the neck tabs. She made 169 capes of all different colors and sizes for summer Camp Hozhoni, held the weekend of September 8-10, 2017. This cost-free weekend camp is for children who have experienced cancer, past or present, and their families. The theme of last year’s camp was Hozhoni Heroes, acknowledging the fact that these brave children are our cancer warriors and heroes.

Capes were presented to everyone in attendance, along with masks, and everyone was adorned in colorful hero garb for the opening ceremonies and activities throughout camp. The capes added to the excitement and fun of this wonderful camp. 21 SUPER Families and 44 DYNAMIC volunteers enjoyed the MARVELous weekend festivities and everyone had the opportunity to display the super hero inside all of us for a little while.

“It’s just nice to know you can brighten someone’s day for a while,” said Linda. “My daughter even helped me cut some out on her better days.”

Linda said, “It is a great feeling to know you can do something to help brighten the day of someone who is sick. It fills some of my time so I don’t have to think.”

In addition to making capes, Linda has many other sewing projects for the hospital. She sews patient bags, doll gowns and taggy blankets. She also sews smocks and fitted sheets. “Mostly whatever they ask,” Linda said. “I help my sewing buddy with sleep caps for adult cancer patients, backpacks and bags for under the arm for breast cancer patients. This is what I do in the winter, in the summer I garden and have flowerbeds.”

Linda encourages everyone to find a way to contribute to others’ lives.

“If anyone has spare time, there is always a need somewhere, sometime, something for you to do if you are willing,” she said. “I would say ‘Give back when you can.’ It helps you more than anyone.”