Cape Day: How a little boy inspired movement for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

ATLANTA — A decade ago, a little boy in a superhero cape inspired a movement. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta now celebrates Cape Day every October.

D.J. Pitts was only four years old when he became the boy in the cape. He spent about a week inside the pediatric intensive care unit after he drank a solution that burned his esophagus and stomach.

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One day, a volunteer brought him a cape to wear – and he wore it every day.

He inspired others with his brilliant smile and infectious energy. So, every year, employees and patients put on the capes to celebrate the strength and resilience of Children’s patients.

“Wearing a superhero cape made me feel like a hero and made me feel like I was helping people,” said D.J., who’s now 13 years old.


Wytaria Henley, who works in the health system’s support center, came donning his own cape. He calls D.J. a true hero.

“And to persevere and to say, you know, I’m gonna beat this, I’m gonna do this with great strength, I think it’s an inspiration to all,” he said.

For Clara Stapleton and her co-workers in the support center, they go all out, fashioning their own snazzy capes and sparkly masks.

When she puts on the cape, “I feel like one of the kids, I feel like superhero – like the kids,” she said. “Because I know they’re fighting every day, so they’re our hero.”

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