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Caleb’s Superhero Walk in Cape Breton returns in-person after four years

It has been four long years since hundreds of people flooded Petersfield Park in Westmount, N.S., to take part in the Caleb’s Superhero Walk, Run and Fly fundraising event.

The event was cancelled by post-tropical storm Fiona last year and the COVID-19 pandemic the two years before that.

That means Caleb's parents, who founded the Caleb’s Courage movement in 2015 following their son’s battle with cancer, had been waiting since 2019 for the in-person return of their biggest annual fundraiser.

"It means absolutely everything for us to be back here,” said Nicole MacArthur, Caleb MacArthur’s mother.

It was also an event they say their son would have loved.

"He loved superheroes,” said Mike MacArthur, Caleb’s father. “He loved interacting with people and kids. You know for Caleb, (the highlight) would be seeing the little, little children in their costumes and their smiles."

In addition to the MacArthur family, many other families who have been impacted by childhood cancer came out to show and receive support.

People could be seen walking along the wooded path wearing sweatshirts and other paraphernalia in support of local causes such as Molly’s Mission, Team Leo, and Leigh-Anne’s Legacy.

"It means everything for me and our family,” said Jeff Wadden, who founded Molly’s Mission following his daughter Molly Wadden’s fight with cancer. “Caleb's Courage does so much for this community in support of critically ill children. We wouldn't be anywhere else."

Costumed characters of all ages helped drive home the superhero theme and brighten up the atmosphere.

"I was at the one four years ago, and it's looking like about double the (attendance) numbers,” said a costumed participant dressed as Spiderman. "All the little superheroes are fantastic. They're a pleasure to be here, with the big smiles on their faces."

After the walk wrapped up, people gathered to listen to a song written for Caleb and his cause by local musician Alton MacKinnon.

The family hoped to raise $25,000 on Sunday, with proceeds going towards pediatric care in Cape Breton in conjunction with the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation.

"I think he (Caleb) had everything to do with this day,” Nicole MacArthur said. “I think he ordered it up special for us. The sun is shining. There's hundreds and hundreds of people here. I know he's up there, he's shining down on us right now - and I know he's proud."

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