The pandemic has been a scary time for most, but especially for children like Elliott Hill, 4, who was diagnosed with cancer in January 2020 after doctors discovered Wilms tumor in her kidney.
“We had just come back from a family vacation and we all got sick and went to the doctor. The girls were put on antibiotics and a few weeks later we noticed a huge lump in her abdomen area.” Elliot’s mother, Janette Hill, said.
As the pandemic worsens, many children’s hospitals across the country have closed their doors to most visitors, leading to extreme isolation.
“Now with COVID they only allow one parent to stay overnight and that only makes things more difficult,” said Hill, who is from Fort Worth, Texas.
Hill quickly took to social media to ask for prayers, support, and to keep her family up to date on her daughter’s status.
There she met businesswoman Allison Schickel who had created a “brobe” – a dress to help her friend recover from breast cancer. After a few years, Schickel decided to expand and help children recovering from cancer in nearby hospitals in Texas.
“I’ve always wanted to create something for kids. And it wasn’t until I met a little girl named Elliott that I decided I was going to start the design process and get it to market ASAP. “said Schickel.
Hill and Schickel then met at a nearby park to find out about Schickel’s prototype.
“They wanted to be able to have something that looked like something functional but that they could wear inside the hospital. Hospitals are really cold and they didn’t want to have to undress their kids every time they went for an MRI. machine or to do an EKG, ”said Schickel.
The new gown designed specifically for children with cancer has interior pockets to hold drains and medical equipment, sleeves that open for easy access during procedures, and a attached superhero cape with a mask.
The robe puts a smile on Elliott’s face every time she puts it on.
“As a parent, anything in that time that makes your child express and feel less like a patient and more like himself, anything that makes him feel that is obviously going to be amazing and not just makes the process easier, ”Hill said.
For Hill, the most important feature was seeing how the superhero cape and mask helped uplift her little girl’s spirit. “They did it in her favorite character, so it was Spiderman … on her back. She was super excited. As soon as she put it on, she reached out, started to go around in circles, you know, just being the crazy, wild kid that she is. ”
Schickel has partnered with Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth and Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin. She has received thousands of donations across the country and has set up a website for those who wish to sponsor a child.
For dozens of kids across the country like Elliot, these superhero dresses came to the rescue just in time.
If you would like to sponsor a child, please visit app.hellofund.com/TheElliottSuperheroRobe.