Mother Turns Sick Kids to Superheroes

September 6, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. advocacy [AD-vuh-kuh-see] (n.) – the act of promoting an idea or a cause
Example: One of the charity’s advocacies is helping sick children experience a normal life.

2. cape [keyp] (n.) – a sleeveless clothing worn around the neck and falls over the shoulders
Example: Superheroes such as Superman and Batman wear capes.

3. nominate [NOM-uh-neyt] (v.) – to suggest a person for a title or position
Example: After the meeting, the committee nominated members for the “Best Volunteer” award.

4. symbolize [SIM-buh-lahyz] (v.) – to represent or signify another object, person, or idea
Example: Most people use doves to symbolize peace.

5. establish [ih-STAB-lish] (v.) – to make something permanent; to secure
Example: The organization aims to establish its contact with other organizations.


Read the text below.
A 28-year-old mother from Seattle, Washington has started an advocacy to empower children with illnesses and disabilities through the use of superhero capes.

Robyn Rosenberger has initiated the Tiny Superheroes movement in order to make people more aware of the stories of children suffering from diseases and disabilities.

Tiny Superheroes began when Rosenberger made a cape for Brenna, a baby girl with an inborn skin disease. After featuring Brenna’s story to Rosenberger’s blog, many people have started nominating potential tiny superheroes.

Among the children who received capes from Rosenberger is “Super Anthony,” a child with heart and muscle problems. Tiny Superheroes also gave “Super KE” a cape, which he wears even at the hospital. Other kids named as Tiny Superheroes are “Super Mabel” and “Super Andrew.”

Rosenberger chose to use a cape because it symbolizes the strength that each sick child has. She added that the capes make the children and their families realize how strong the kids are to be able to face such illnesses at a very young age. With every cape is a letter handwritten by Rosenberger herself.

Today, Rosenberger receives 10 to 20 nominations a day. To accommodate all requests, she left her job and asked friends for help. She has already made capes to 700 children from 45 US states and 11 countries.

According to Rosenberger, promoting awareness may result in increased funding, which can then lead to more research about the cures of diseases.

With more people recognizing this movement, Rosenberger aims to establish a connection with children’s hospitals and to build a Tiny Superheroes center to be able to inspire more sick children.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the capes of Tiny Superheroes really help empower kids with diseases and disabilities? Why is that so?
·         How else do you think people can help empower children with illnesses and disabilities?

Discussion B

·         How do you think the support from family members and relatives help children suffering from diseases?
·         How can the government help very young kids with sickness and disability?


September 6, 2013