October 9, 2019

On today's show, we hear from the Las Vegas based nonprofit Critical Care Comics.  Later Bruce Gale brings us an interview with an earlier Kid Hero, Julianna Gouthiere.

Hospitals can be scary places for kids.  Hospital stays come with stress and anxiety for kids and their families.

No matter what age the child, hospital stays and illnesses can both be traumatic to a child. These experiences impact the child’s well-being not only while they are hospitalized but sometimes even years later. Their normal life is being disrupted…they miss their family and friends.  Younger children may not understand why they are in the hospital.  Is it something they did?  Depending on the child’s age, a hospital stay will affect them differently.  And the child’s temperament plays a large part…are they shy and introverted or easy-going in new situations?

No matter how welcoming the pediatrics unit may be, it’s just not home.

Many hospitals allow parents or guardians to sleep overnight in the child’s room in some circumstances. Inquire about this if it is something you might want to do.  Children heal faster when they’re surrounded by their families.  A family’s love is good medicine.  When you walk down the halls of a hospital, there is nothing worse than seeing a child who is lonely, frightened and depressed.

And this brings us to this week's highlighted charity, Critical Care Comics...

Critical Care Comics is a Las Vegas based nonprofit dedicated to bringing joy to the faces of children in hospitals by delivering comic books to kids and helping them escape the discomfort and stress of hospital life. If only for only 28 pages. @CriticalCareComics

Near the end of his Sophomore year of High School, the Founder, Jason Golden, was diagnosed with Leukemia.  He completely missed his Junior year of High School battling cancer. But Jason wasn’t alone.  Every week his parents would go to his comic shop and pick up the latest books.  As Spiderman fought off Sinister-Six, Jason was fighting off nausea from Chemo. He even read the Death of Superman from the hospital bed. Those moments for him were an escape…if only for 28 pages.

When Jason was older, he wanted to give back…and Critical Care Comics was born.

Bev had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Danny Ballard, the Marketing Director for Critical Care Comics and Dan Glitch, “Captain America” Cosplay Volunteer.

Adrian on the Lookout for a Superhero While Recording the Show...
Adrian on the Lookout for a Superhero While Recording the Show...

A child encounters many new experiences while in the hospital, and we all know some of these experiences can be stressful and scary.  Superheroes are trying to make kids forget that they are in the hospital and are going through these tough medical issues.

From Tampa to St. Louis, Chicago to Memphis, New York to Los Angeles, comic superheroes are being spotted all over the country -- and they are fighting grime. On windows, that is.  On the floors inside, kids with conditions like cancer, sickle cell anemia, epilepsy and many other illnesses watch in awe.

In their off-hours, Spider-Man, Captain America, and Batman, to name a few, are washing windows at children's hospitals. Their mission? To bring happiness to the youngest of patients. 

There are countless organizations across the country with superheroes visiting children in the hospitals, making them smile, taking pictures and delivering toys.  The kids are the real superheroes here...the visits give them a few minutes to feel like a kid in the midst of going through hospital stays and medical treatments.

When Julianna Gouthiere was six, she came up with the idea Bear Share, a non-profit her mom helped her launch, which donates new or like new stuffed animals to kids in need of comfort in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Georgia, as well as overseas in India and Germany.

As of April 2018, more than 15,000 stuffed animals have been donated to organizations including The Philadelphia Center, The Gingerbread House, Cara Center, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Louisiana State Police, Shreveport Fire Department and The Salvation Army. Julianna is helping bring comfort to children one stuffed animal at a time.

Bruce Gale brings us an interview with our earlier Kid Hero, Julianna, now 11 years old.

Julianna Gouthiere Surrounded by Stuffed Animals
Julianna Gouthiere Surrounded by Stuffed Animals