Dressed in a black Batman costume, his fists clenched as he took on foe after foe around San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy who has battled leukemia for years fulfilled his wish Friday to be his favorite superhero.
The San Francisco hero is pint-sized Miles Scott, 5. Miles is in remission from leukemia, and, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, managed to turn his obsession with comic book heroes into the real thing.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation obliged, setting up several scenarios around the city involving two of Gotham’s greatest enemies, The Penguin and The Riddler.
At last count nearly 15,000 San Franciscans had signed up online to play the grateful onlookers. San Francisco’s mayor and police were among thousands involved in an extraordinary day that gripped the city and caught the attention of the White House.
Batkid’s journey began Friday morning, as he met Batman and the (donated) Lamborghini Batcar he would be driven around in for the day. He then received a fraught message from police chief Greg Suhr, alerting “Batkid” to the various criminal activities and pleading with him to assist.
He rescued a woman from cable car tracks in Nob Hill and captured the Riddler in the act of robbing a downtown bank. He even rescued the San Francisco Giants mascot — Lou Seal — who was kidnapped by the Penguin.
The White House sent out a tweet encouraging Batkid to “Go get ’em!” In a video recording, President Barack Obama said, “Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham!”
“This just restores your faith in humanity,” said Carmen Kiew, 30, a sports blogger who sat on the steps of Union Square with a handmade sign that read “Gotham’s Hero.”
“I love that this city came together for a little kid who has been so brave,” Kiew said. “Between the police and everyday citizens who felt it was important to show their support, it just makes you feel great.”
On a local level, The San Francisco Chronicle released a special edition of its paper this morning in Miles’ honor, and reporters and citizens alike swarmed the city for hours to keep up with Miles’ adventures.
Batkid’s appreciative fans flocked to social media to record the spectacle. By 4 p.m. San Francisco time, more than 10,000 Instagram photos had been posted with the hashtag #SFBatKid.
Miles, who lives in Tulelake in far Northern California, didn’t know what was in store for him and thought he was in San Francisco just to get a Batman costume so he could dress like his favorite superhero. He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old and ended treatments in June.
His father, Nick Scott, thanked the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation and the estimated 7,000 people who will help make his son’s wish come true, says the USA Today.
Make-A-Wish has fulfilled similar wishes across the country. In Anaheim, a child became Batman’s sidekick, Robin; and in Seattle a child was a secret agent, said Jen Wilson, a spokeswoman for the local organization.