Wearing red capes in Atlanta soon for the best reason ever

Taylor Rand, 15, is one of the child ambassadors for Cape Day.
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Taylor Rand, 15, is one of the child ambassadors for Cape Day.

On Friday, Oct. 20, people across Atlanta will come together for "Cape Day" by wearing a cape and sending a message to young patients that nothing is impossible when you're wearing a cape.

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Two years ago, Hudson Lillystone, who was 6 at the time, dons her yellow cape for Cape Day. Hudson battled against acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. PHOTO BY AARON COURY

Credit: Photographer Aaron Coury

Two years ago, Hudson Lillystone, who was 6 at the time, dons her yellow cape for Cape Day. Hudson battled against acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. PHOTO BY AARON COURY
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Two years ago, Hudson Lillystone, who was 6 at the time, dons her yellow cape for Cape Day. Hudson battled against acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. PHOTO BY AARON COURY

Credit: Photographer Aaron Coury

Credit: Photographer Aaron Coury

 Cape Day launched in 2014 as a way for children and adults to show support and honor kids who spend their days in the hospital battling medical challenges. Cape Day has quickly grown into a huge, community-wide event. Last year, thousands of people across Atlanta put on their capes, including members of the Atlanta BalletAtlanta Falcons (see photo of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan below), Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and hundreds of students, including some who made capes out of big sheets of paper.

Many schools have turned the day into a fundraising event with every child wearing a cape and donating $1 to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

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Many students including those at Alpharetta Elementary participate in Cape Day. Photographer Aaron Coury.

Many students including those at Alpharetta Elementary participate in Cape Day. Photographer Aaron Coury.
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Many students including those at Alpharetta Elementary participate in Cape Day. Photographer Aaron Coury.

This year's choice of color for capes is red.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta will bombard current and former patients with photos showing Atlantans wearing capes in support, encouraging everyone to use #CapeDayATL hashtag on social media. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has named a few "Cape Day Ambassadors" who are helping spread the word and the meaning behind Cape Day. They will be featured in a video during the week of Cape Day, along with others donning capes including professional athletes from Atlanta United and Falcons.

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Expect to see even Georgia Aquarium dolphins flipping around in red capes.

One of the child ambassadors is 15-year-old Taylor Rand who has overcome many odds, undergoing hundreds of medical procedures and surgeries to live a full life.

It was just about a year ago when then 14-year-old Taylor of Atlanta became sick and had been back and forth to the doctor to treat what was diagnosed as pneumonia. After Taylor’s condition didn’t improve, and experiencing signs of kidney failure, a team of specialists at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston determined the cause of the cause of her kidney woes: Her heart was sick and wasn’t pumping enough blood to support the functions of her organs.

Taylor needed a heart transplant. Throughout a difficult time of waiting and uncertainty, Taylor maintained a positive attitude. Taylor celebrated her one-year transplant anniversary on Aug. 7. Today she’s a happy, sassy teenager. She wears a red cape as symbol of her bravery and strength.

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TO BUY A CAPE

(AND REMEMBER, THIS YEAR'S COLOR IS RED) 

NOTE: To buy a cape for yourself or someone else, go to choa.org/capeday. You can also sponsor one to be given to a patient at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta on Cape Day.Cost:$20, with all proceeds benefitting Children's. Note: the deadline for the capes be mailed has passed.They would need to be picked up at the Children's Foundation office from 9 a.m. -4p.m. Monday through Friday at 1577 NE Expressway, Atlanta.

TO MAKE A CAPE

Host a simple, cape-making party at your business, school or at home with family or friends .One simple way to make a cape is by using a T-shirt and cutting offt he sleeves and the sides of the T-shirt so it is open.Then, leaving the neck hole intact, open the shirt and cut around the neck hole so it's just one piece that hangs behind.

SHOW OFF YOUR CAPE

 Post photos of you (and others) in a cape with the #CapeDayATL hashtag on social media.

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A therapy dog will be by the side of a doctor who must face extremely sensitive/intense medical situations in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

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