CHICAGO – Braver. Stronger. Smarter.

Some pint-size patients at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn recently learned there’s a superhero in all of them.

They were treated to a bedside visit by the one and only Spider-Man, during the return of superhero visits to the hospital’s campus.

The web-slinger’s visit was sponsored by The Holiday Heroes (HH) program, a philanthropic organization that throws parties and provides activity boxes to bring joy to hospitalized pediatric patients .

HH works with Advocate’s Child Life, Creative Arts Therapies, and Education Department, and WGN News Now spoke to Melissa Cavanaugh, manager of the hospital’s Oak Lawn and Park Ridge programs about its return.

“We’re very happy to announce that just in the last few weeks we were able to bring back the in-person visits with the costumed characters to Advocate Children’s Hospital.” said Cavanaugh. “Just a couple of weeks ago, we had Elsa from Frozen at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, and we had Spider-man at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn.”

Cavanaugh added Spidey’s visit brought smiles to a lot of children’s faces as well as the pediatric staff. “One parent said I haven’t seen him smile in weeks, and here we go. And, all it took was Spider-man.” 

Spider-Man and Elsa also happen to be two of the most popular characters among the young patients and volunteers from the Holiday Heroes organization are vetted to portray the characters.  

Cavanaugh hopes to partner with HH for more parties later this year, and said if you’re interested in volunteering with Holiday Heroes, to contact them. If you’d like to help with Advocate’s Child Life Program, you can email Cavanaugh at

You can learn more about The Holiday Heroes program in the video above.