The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

January 21, 2014

Capes help Janet Weis Children's Hospital patients battle illnesses like superheroes

— MAHONING TWP. — Sick children will soon don capes aimed at making them feel better.

Janel Martin, of Danville, and her mother, Darlis Dyer, got together Monday in the Dyer home in Mahoning Township to work on 20 capes to be given to youngsters at the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital at Geisinger Medical Center.

They hope eventually to make 100 capes and donate them to the hospital.

“It’s something the kids should really like and something different,” said Dyer who gave up her holiday to iron and sew the cotton comfort capes.

“We hope it will encourage them to be like superheroes,” said Martin who has made capes for her sons Calvin, 5; Wesley, 3, and Nathaniel, 20 months. “The boys like theirs,” she said of their capes with train, star, Superman and Bible man motifs.

The mother and daughter team previously cut out 20 capes which they were stitching appliqués on and then sewing the two pieces of the lined cape together. The capes are also reversible.

The appliqués include a star, an airplane, an insect, a barn, frogs, a heart and more, said Martin who makes and sells the capes and does sewing alterations.

They purchased the fabric with a $400 grant from Thrivent Financial.

Because of the deals they got in Danville on material, they had enough left to buy felt masks for kids to wear. Dyer found the masks, ranging from cats to the Lego Chima character, made by a woman online. Dyer was able to buy some felt crowns for the patients to wear.

Martin has been making the capes since September.

She got the idea after reading online about a woman making them for patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

For the pattern, “I meshed it with a pattern from a different hospital that was making capes,” she said.

They have spoken to officials of Child Life Services at the Geisinger hospital and expect to present 20 of their creations at a time for them to distribute to patients.

This isn’t the first time Martin has used her talents to help others. She made six fabric dolls and five quilts that were given to orphans in Uganda.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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