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Finalist for Lee County Officer of the Year turns sick kids into superheroes

Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Elkady fights crime and puts bad guys away. But, he also hangs up his badge and gun to transform into a real-life superhero, bringing broad smiles to the faces of children.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Elkady is a hero in more ways than one. From putting nefarious people in Lee County Jail to comforting children in the hospital.

“I turned to my wife and my wife turned to me we said, ‘how can we give back in a more positive way?'” Deputy Elkady said.

That is when their non-profit, Heroes Unmasked, was born. Every month for the last two years, Deputy Elkady and other volunteers transform into real-life superheroes, such as Ironman, Batman and RoboCop.

Deputy Elkady is trades in his green LCSO uniform into a cape and a mask.

“In order to be the character,” he said, “you gotta be the part.”

The superheroes travel all over the state to visit children in the hospital and at home, including Judah, 7 years old, in Charlotte County. His goal on these visits is to distract the child from his or her medical condition. Then, let their imagination run wild.

“We always ask them, ‘do you want to join our alliance and become part of our superheroes?'” Deputy Elkady said. “We cape them, we do our signature quote: ‘Together, we rise.’ Then, they’re officially a part of Heroes Unmasked.”

Heroes Unmasked has visited nearly 600 children over the past two years. Deputy Elkady will be among the finalists for the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South Law and Order Ball Saturday at Hertz Arena.

“It’s just been a lifetime of giving,” he said.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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