TULSA, Okla. — In a world the place kids battle large obstacles, a workforce of extraordinary folks is doing one thing extraordinary.
The Actual Okie Superheroes is an area nonprofit made up of residents with the superpower to unfold smiles.
“It is not about us, it is about what we are able to do to assist,” says Stephen Fluharty, a volunteer with the group.
The charity was co-founded in 2018 by Arlene Laxamana.
“It is a enjoyable escape,” Laxamana mentioned. “For a couple of minutes so these folks can neglect about their most cancers or their traumatic occasion as a result of right here we’re in actual life to make them smile.”
The group is made up of volunteers on a easy mission: “to convey pleasure and compassion to our communities,” says Laxamana.
The Actual Okie Superheroes do it by way of dress-up — princesses, superheroes, Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles and extra. Batman, Iron Man and Moana visited the brand new oncology flooring at St. Francis Kids’s Hospital, making their first cease for a superhero super-fan.
“That is Declan, he was identified with stage 4 most cancers in 2019,” mentioned mom Abby Callahan. “He went from being tremendous down this morning till they informed him that the superheroes have been coming, and he bought tremendous excited.”
These are enjoyable, informal visits. The heroes even come bearing presents and new gadgets like blankets, puzzles, and books.
When 2 Information Oklahoma Anchor Julie Chin requested Declan how he felt seeing the superheroes, he responded, “Pleased!”
“It positively helps brighten our day. Not simply his, however mine too,” Callahan mentioned.
Everybody appears to marvel on the superheroes. Staffers inform us they are a hospital favourite.
“They do not know these households, however they’re dedicated, they’re beneficiant of their giving, so it is a particular factor for households to see,” says Chrissy Streeter, St. Francis Group Outreach Coordinator.
Phrase has unfold that the heroes are right here, and 8-year-old Michael can be subsequent.
“I am going by way of most cancers, however the excellent news is after this cycle of chemo, I solely have two extra cycles left,” says Michael Amezquita.
He is been right here for 4 lengthy days, so this go to actually saves the day. Smiles and small discuss fill the room, and this connection is all that issues for the subsequent couple of minutes.
“After they’re going by way of what they are going by way of most cancers or no matter, they’re form of having to be older coping with heavy stuff, so it is good in these moments when they could be a child once more,” says Fluharty.
Hospitals aren’t the one place you may discover these superheroes. They do house visits and charity occasions, and a senior stocking mission is underway.
“So every stocking will comprise an array of various issues, socks and deodorant shampoo, completely different important gadgets for every senior to take pleasure in,” says Laxamana.
The Actual Okie Superheroes will go to a number of nursing properties this vacation season. They are saying identical to the youngsters, the seniors have to be uplifted too.
The charity has about 30 volunteers and runs off donations. Laxamana estimates they’ve held round a thousand visits for all ages, all free of charge.
“I really feel like my present is to convey pleasure to different folks. I like to offer. That is my present, so to obtain a smile, that is all I would like in return,” says Laxamana.
They’re superhumans whose visits depart folks beaming.
“Anyone can do it, that is the enjoyable half,” says Anthony Torres, a Actual Okie Superhero.
If you recognize of somebody going through a hardship who might use some happiness from the Actual Okie Superheroes, or if you would like to study extra or donate to the group, click on here.
Remember to tune in for this full Positively Oklahoma story Wednesday night time at 6.