When I grow up, I want to be a… superhero

GCC kids receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children dream of much more than ordinary careers

When I grow up, I want to be a… superhero

The power of the imagination knows no boundaries, and a group GCC kids receiving treatment for haematology and oncology conditions at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London have undergone a transformation to look like their, very own, superheroes.

They tell Time Out Kids all about it.

Kapow’ing disease
For Tarik Batal and Basma Masri, Superhope started with a thought. If we can use the power of our minds to create the world we live in, then why can’t we use that same power to alter the world within? And it was all about unleashing that power...

“When I met Basma for the first time, I learned about her work with patients alongside her psychologist friend. They both had a passion of reassuring patients of their strength to fight this disease. I knew then that we were bound to create something powerful together, and so we did. Superhope was born,” says Batal.

Starting off as an intitiative that designed positive experiences, Superhope then evolved into a concept that was about much more than traditional means of support into something that’s much more creative.

“Superhope combines top-notch talent that brings kids’ imagination of superheroes to life. The result? Their Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is boosted, their reality shifted and their road to recovery is strengthened. These are the REAL superheroes out there,” explains Masri.

Working on a project with GOSH, Superhope gave young ones the opportunity to become, and so they did. We meet the real-life champions and get to know the thought process behind choosing their respective heroes, and what we find out leaves us in awe of the wisdom they possess.

Latifa is a 12-year-old who spent eight years at GOSH receiving treatment, but hopes to return home very soon.

“I chose to be a butterfly because I love them and hope I could follow them and fly high,” she says.

During her time at GOSH, Latifa was shy, but her confidence grew over the years and she metamorphosed into a tenacious, strong and optimistic young girl. When she’s older, she wants to spread happiness and encouragement to other kids with similar conditions, with the help of her butterfly friends of course.

Fourteen-year-old Salem was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at a young age and had a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) at GOSH.

Salem chose to be SaMagic because he’s a big thinker, a fantasist who’s inspired by all things magical and defeats negative energies with his spells.

“SaMagic can teleport in and out of different mystic realms. His self-belief makes him an incredibly powerful wizard who can channel his positive energy and bravery into unbelievable magic,” says Salem.

As for eight-year-old Retaj, diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic condition that causes a tumour to grow near her optic nerve, she wanted to become an ice princess who loved all things enchanted.

ReFroze has the warmest of hearts, yet her power is as cool as can be. Retaj wanted to be ReFroze when she grows up so she can create the most mesmerising ice sculptures, and dazzle her friends with her magical ability to transform her surroundings into a winter wonderland that all can enjoy.

Hamad, on the other hand, wants to be DarkGadget – a much more mysterious superhero. When he’s older, he aims to protect and defend all kids using his magnetic hands and feet to soar to the top of skyscrapers and carefully watch over streets across the GCC.

His unparalleled strength, matched with his big heart, means no one needs to fear when DarkGadget is in town.

Working with creatives from all over the globe, GOSH partnered with Superhope, utilising state-of-the-art technology to create superhero experiences for the kids and make them a part of every stage.

Superhope aims to have a positive impact on the journey of kids from the Middle East by showing them the first-hand power of thinking outside of the box, and moving beyond stagnant ideas and into a world that’s more dazzling, magnificient and superhero-worthy.
For more on Superhope and GOSH, visit superhope.org and gosh.com.kw.

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