Marvel superheroes give Children's Hospital Los Angeles patients a healing boost

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Young patients got a chance to escape their hospital rooms and enter a world where wearing masks isn't unusual.

It was a surprise superhero encounter at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Young crime fighters, some in masks, "marvel" as their favorite heroes rescue them from the doldrums of hospital life.

Eric Conde has a young daughter with leukemia.

"We are here to take a break from going through chemo," Conde said. "It's a nice break from being inside our room all day."

While some patients became Captain America's sidekick for the day, cancer patient Ani Baburyan's encounter with Black Panther was lifted right out of her favorite movie.

He recited lines that sounded like it came straight from the script.

The costumes and photo ops are all part of Freeform's "Marvel Studios: Hero Acts." The goal of the campaign is to strengthen the lives of children impacted by serious illness.

Baburyan's father got quite a thrill.

"We just came here early so we could celebrate her birthday at home. And we ended up seeing these guys. It's really awesome," Zato Baburyan said.

CHLA Childlife Specialist Amanda Cleary said the positive effects of events like this last long after it's over.

"Just to see their little faces light up to see some of their super heroes. It just takes them away from all the scary things happening and helps them with their overall coping with the hospital experience," Cleary said.

Besides meeting their favorite Marvel characters, some patients got to see their family and doctors transform into masked avengers.

The superhero visit is also part of a "Pop-Up Santa Holiday Special" that will be on Disney's Freeform channel.
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