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#CapeDayAtl: Online campaign Friday highlights superhero child patients at CHOA Forsyth
CAPE DAY grey back
Ari Shumbres, an 8-year-old student at Sharon Elementary School, has been selected as a Cape Day Ambassador. - photo by Micah Green

What is #CapeDayAtl?

Friday is the third annual Cape Day hosted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to show support for kids fighting villains like injury and illness. The community is encouraged to post pictures to social media wearing capes with the hashtag #CapeDayAtl.

FORSYTH COUNTY -- Real-life superheroes can be seen wearing blue capes around metro-Atlanta today.

On Friday, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, or CHOA, is asking the community to put on a cape for Cape Day, the center’s third annual celebration of children fighting illness and injuries. Locals participating are encouraged to post photos to social media wearing capes with the hashtag #CapeDayAtl to show support for current and former patients.

A hashtag is used on social media to create searchable keywords that aggregate posts made with the same word or phrase.

Ari Shumbres, an 8-year-old student at Sharon Elementary School, has been selected as a Cape Day Ambassador and was recently featured in a preview video for the event, which showed him running around and throwing a football with Atlanta Falcons players.

“I like running around the halls,” he said, “I liked getting to run around. I liked getting to play with the Falcons and it was just super fun.”

Ari has VATER Association, a disorder that affects several body systems. His mother, Jodi Shumbres, said he has had hundreds of procedures and spent 13 months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Scottish Rite Hospital.

“Ari has always loved superheroes, so this is an opportunity for him to pretend that he is a real superhero — though he is to us — and kind of show his strength,” Shumbres said. “This is his third cape, and it’s kind of his way of saying, like, ‘I’m very proud of being a part of the Children’s family and all I’ve been through.”

In addition to the likes of Ant-Man, Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man, who he will be dressing up as for Halloween, Ari is also a big fan of Legos. He even has his own YouTube page on the sets.

“I love building Legos, so I asked my mom and dad if I could start one,” he said. “I only build Lego sets. I open them up, I build it and I review them.”

The Legos also serve another purpose for the family.

“We have a reward system at home that Ari works on to take care of himself,” Shumbres said. “There is so much that we do on a daily medical intervention... so we have a little reward system that when he gets to certain levels [he gets points].

“We keep trying to set these goals, otherwise if it’s not interesting to them, like any other kid, he’s not going to want to do it, and this is something that is big for us because it is a life skill.”

“2,000 [points] means Legoland,” Ari said.

His mother said other long-term goals are going to Disneyland and the Radio Disney Music Awards in California.

Shumbres writes a blog keeping up with Ari at roarlittlelion.blogspot.com, and Ari’s Lego series can be found by searching his name on YouTube.

More information on Cape Day, getting involved and even finding your superhero name can be found at Choa.org/donors-and-volunteers/foundation-events/cape-day-atl.