SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Superheroes took over the Shawnee Civic Centre, for a bit, on Saturday.
Children ran through cardboard walls, took pictures, made shields, and dressed as superheroes, complete with capes and masks. Around many necks, the children had white collars. Those are their tracheostomies to help them breathe.
Children's Mercy Hospital hosted the event, calling it Trach Family Day. This is the second time it has hosted such a gathering.
For kids like 14 year old John Coburn, it was a chance just to be a kid.
"It’s pretty cool because they don’t really ask questions," he said of everyone else in the gym with him. "Because they know what it is, and so it’s not as uncomfortable to talk to them as it is, like normal people."
Coburn has one since he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, a side effect of his Beckwith-Wiedemann's Syndrome.
Many kids who have trachs were born early and have under-developed lungs. Some will outgrow the need for a trach, others will have it for life.