Not all heroes wear capes, but sometimes it helps, especially for a family trying to give their little boy a confidence boost going into cancer treatment.
At Children’s Medical Center Dallas, a trio of superheroes can be seen striking poses and walking the halls as they wait for their son’s chemotherapy appointment.
3-year-old, Leone Hernandez (Leo for short), was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia last summer, according to Children’s Medical Center Foundation.
“Leone was having frequent nosebleeds. At first, we thought it was because of a fall he had while playing, and we took him to the doctor. The doctor told us there wasn’t anything to worry about, but the nosebleeds didn’t stop,” his mother Natalia shared in an interview with the medical center. “We returned to the pediatrician and were referred to Children’s Health.”
After being taken to Dallas hospital by ambulance, they learned that their son would need to begin chemo treatment immediately.
“After Leo was diagnosed with leukemia, we couldn’t accept it. You never expect something like this will happen to your family,” Natalia said.
But as they would see their boy get wheeled back for treatment, the family had no choice but to accept their situation and make the best of it.
“We knew at that moment that this was our story, and that our circumstances weren’t going to change, despite how much we wanted them to,” she added.
Worried about Leo’s mental health, his dad, Dario Hernandez, came up with a plan to support his little boy – dress up as his son’s favorite superheroes to give him confidence.
“He thought it would be a way to make Leo comfortable at his appointments,” Natalia said.
“One day, he came home with one costume and then another. My husband buys all the costumes. So far, we have 10!”
And since the start of wearing the costumes, Leo has felt more confident, happy, and comfortable. In fact, his parents truly feel the superpowers shine through as they watch the positive impact it has on their little one.
“Now, Leo feels powerful and strong as he walks into the hospital. Most of the people at the front desk know us as ‘the dress-up people’ and will offer to take our photo,” Natalia said.
“We believe we have the superpowers that we need to face this battle,” Natalia told the outlet. “We do it to make sure he feels the power.”
Although it’s been difficult seeing Leone go through so much at a young age, his bravery has also inspired his family.
“Living these type of battles, they’re really hard, but they’re not impossible,” Natalia said. “Leo is a superhero for us.”
“The costumes helped turn around Leo’s outlook on the situation. And they make other kids in the hospital smile, too,” she added.
To help this family with medical costs, please visit their GoFundMe page.