Geeking For Good: Handmade Capes for Super Kids

This may be the most heartwarming thing I’ve seen in weeks. Young kids all over the US who are facing huge obstacles, like illness or disability, are suddenly gaining superhero status. Robyn Rosenberger and her organisation TinySuperheroes have made it their mission to turn these kids into crusaders, with their own capes and costumes to help them fly over the face of adversity.

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Jackson was nominated for a TinySuperHero cape by our friend D***** C**** They seek to “empower extraordinary kids, one cape at a time”. It arrived yesterday along with a note welcoming him to the TinySuperHero squad. How very cute. We are so blessed to have such wonderful selfless friends. Thank you so much xxx

Why CHD Awareness is So Important

Most people don’t know much about Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs), and until four years ago CHD wasn’t in my vocabulary either. Now I’m a heart mom 24/7.

Today kicks off CHD Awareness Week 2014. I’m wearing red for my “1 in 100” son Magnusson. Between Mags’s birthday on the 28th and CHD Awareness, February is our month.

This week, we’ll be raising awareness by making a special video for TinySuperheroes, participating in the Mended Little Hearts Roar ‘N Run 13.1K, doing a photo shoot for the Rock Your Scar contest, and more.

I think many people have a misconception of what awareness is, and Lance Armstrong’s charity fraud didn’t help. Knowledge is power. It can save lives and increase chances for survival. I wish someone had made me aware of CHD before Mags was born. I had no clue back then, and I’ll always wonder if things might have turned out a bit better had we only known.

I was completely unaware of Mags’s condition and the warning signs of CHD. I didn’t know which questions to ask during my 20-week ultrasound, when they found a “marker” on his heart but thought it was “probably nothing” and didn’t follow up with a fetal echocardiogram. I didn’t know not to let my labor drag on for 40 hours—I should have requested a c-section instead (ironically, I didn’t want a scar). And I didn’t know to request a pulse oximetry screening, which could have alerted us to his heart condition hours sooner, before he lost significant oxygen, turned blue, and developed Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy.

When Mags was born, I spent about an hour with him before the nurses noticed his irregular heartbeat and whisked him away for testing. A few hours later, a nurse informed us that his heart was enlarged. Before he even had a name, they airlifted him to St. Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Phoenix. We were in total shock, and the grave looks on the doctors’ faces told us we needed a miracle.

Later that day, we discovered that he was born with a rare CHD. A sub-aortic stenosis (extra tissue below the aortic valve) prevented the blood from leaving the left ventricle and thickened it. Dr. Cleveland performed open-heart surgery on Mags’s 3rd day of life. During surgery, he had to remove the aortic valve along with the excess tissue and replace it with a donor valve. Despite some initial issues getting Magnusson to eat, he recovered extremely well. In fact, his rapid growth astounded doctors—his height and weight were regularly beyond the 90% for his age. By 8 months old, Mags required a second surgery, a Ross Procedure, followed by a third surgery at Phoenix Children’s Hospital shortly after his 3rd birthday. We got lucky, and we are thankful every single day for our strong little heart hero.

Mags is alive today thanks to CHD awareness and research. Technological advances save lives. In fact, Mags might be able to skip his next surgery thanks to a fairly new device called a melody valve. When his pulmonary valve starts to narrow, they can insert the melody valve inside it to hold it open.

Hopefully, you have a better idea of why awareness is important. It’s not just about “Yeah, I know CHD exists.” It’s about prevention, preparedness, and research.

I invite you to help us spread awareness this week. Educate yourself about CHD, learn the five questions to ask during a 20-week ultrasound, or donate to a wonderful organization like Thank you from the bottom of Mags’s mended little heart!


"I nominated a special little boy who turned three yesterday for a tiny superhero cape. I’ve just found out he’s been sponsored and his cape has been mailed today. I’m so excited for him” donates capes to kids who “exemplify strength and determination as they overcome illness and disability.”

This is absolutely amazing and we and unbelievably proud right now.

On Aug. 20, Super Magnusson received this cape in the mail. donates capes to kids who “exemplify strength and determination as they overcome illness and disability.” Our nanny’s daughter Amber nominated Mags a while back. We feel so honored! Mags loves dressing up in costumes, so it was the perfect thing to empower him. I finally got him to slow down for a second in his cape today so I could snap a few pics.