Leeds Children's Hospital's superhero radiotherapy masks go on display at British Science Museum

A Batman radiotherapy mask created for child cancer patients in Leeds has gone on display at London's British Science Museum.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:00 am
Children's radiotherapy masks from Leeds Children's Hospital have gone on display at the British Science Museum in London. Picture courtesy of Leeds Children's Hospital

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported in July how radiotherapy masks at Leeds Children's Hospital had been painted as superheroes for young patients undergoing the terrifying treatment.

The masks were painted by Lobke Marsden, who grafted the faces of popular children's characters such as Iron Man, Spiderman and even Dr Seuss' The Grinch upon them.

Each design was requested by the patient to make them feel more at ease heading into the invasive cancer treatment.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paediatric radiotherapy specialists Lobke Marsden (left) and Clare Jobe with the masks at the British Science Museum. Picture courtesy of Leeds Children's Hospital

Now two of the masks have gone on public display for the first time at the world attraction, visited by 3.3m people annually, and will be encased as an exhibit in the new Medicines Gallery for the next 25 years.

The news was announced by the Children's Hospital on Tuesday, which said it was "incredibly proud" to see them being shared with the world.

The display features a Batman mask, as well as one of the mask prototypes, showing examples of distraction therapy tools.

Alongside the masks is the Lego-built Little Linacs, created by the Hospital's Prof David Brettle.

The Little Linacs kit, a Lego kit to build your own radiotherapy machine, has also gone on display. Picture courtesy of Leeds Children's Hospital

The Little Linacs is built from the specially-designed Lego building blocks so child patients can create their own tiny version of the radiotherapy machine used in their treatment. The kit was designed with the idea of helping children familiarise themselves with the machine to calm any fears.

Announcing the news, Leeds Children's Hospital said: "We are incredibly proud to see not one but two of our amazing play and distraction therapy tools on display at the British Science Museum!

"A Batman-themed radiotherapy mask is being displayed as part of the new Medicines Gallery and will be part of the exhibition for the next 25 years!

"Radiotherapy can be a very frightening experience and our team paint the masks in a bid to help and support patients through their treatment.

"Congratulations to our amazing paediatric radiotherapy team and to Professor Brettle for putting Leeds Children's Hospital on the map!"