Nightly News | August 08, 2013
>>> finally tonight, a follow-up to a "making a difference" report we brought you last month on an organization called "heart heroes." it provides capes to kids battling forces beyond their control. they've got heart problems . and lifting their spirits goes a long way. after our story, many viewers responded and nbc's kevin tibbles has an update for us tonight.
>> oh, look at that.
>> reporter: in spite of three open heart surgeries , nothing is going to slow 5-year-old crusader cyrusrixie down. not in his shiny new cape.
>> he's been through so much. incredibly strong kid.
>> he's had three open heart surgeries .
>> reporter: these are heady days in the superhero business.
>> we're just plugging away trying to get cape requests out the fastest we can.
>> this is her signature cape.
>> reporter: two mere mortal moms from omaha, nebraska, who each raise kids with congenital heart defects . founded heart heroes four years ago to help other children battle illness with extra special powers.
>> we knew that this story would reach a lot of people and that we would get, you know, a lot of requests. but we had no idea.
>> look at that little smile.
>> reporter: since our story first aired last month, traffic on the heart heroes website soared 12,000%. more cape requests than in all previous years combined.
>> it's been crazy, but it's been a good crazy.
>> reporter: e-mails like this one, now arrive daily. my 12-year-old son is scheduled to have open heart surgery . i am terrified.
>> it's a hard time. and when that happens, you want to put the request out to anybody that can say a prayer for your child.
>> reporter: let's face it. any kid facing the fear and uncertainty of a medical procedure wants to take it on like a boy or girl of steel.
>> they feel empowered. and resilient. and invincible in these capes.
>> reporter: the home-grown group now holds fund-raisers like this one at tcby, hoping to keep the capes coming for kid like cyrus.
>> it's also fun because he likes to wear capes and he's really into superheroes.
>> reporter: right here on earth, not a bird or a plane but heart heroes filled with newfound courage. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago.