A lot of kids wish they could be the next crime-fighting masked crusader, but one will have the opportunity to actually become a superhero for a day. The Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit that grants wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions, will turn San Francisco into Gotham City for 5-year-old Miles, who is battling leukemia.
According to the foundation’s website, when Make-A-Wish interviewed Miles, he said his one request was to become Batkid. So, he will spend Friday, Nov. 15, defending San Francisco from some of Batman’s mortal enemies, including The Riddler and Penguin. He’ll even get to put his grit to the test by rescuing a damsel in distress.
What’s on Miles’ superhero itinerary? First, he’ll hear a “breaking news story” in which San Fran’s police chief asks if anyone knows the whereabouts of “Batkid” because the city is in need of his crime-fighting assistance. Then, along with adult Batman, Miles will cruise the city in an actual Batmobile looking for situations in need of superhero justice.
His first mission will be to save a woman who is tied up to the cable car tracks in Nob Hill. He’ll then have to jet over to a bank at 550 Montgomery St. to foil Riddler’s plan to rob it. After refueling at a burger joint in Union Square, Miles will have to stop Penguin from absconding with a famous Gotham City mascot.
At the end of the day, Batkid will be the guest of honor at a City Hall meeting where the Mayor will give him the key to the city. If there isn’t a pile of wet Kleenex on your keyboard at this moment, then you probably don’t have a pulse.
Miles’ real-life battle with leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells that begins in the marrow, is something roughly one in 10,000 kids his age will deal with. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leukemia is the leading cancer in children aged 1 to 4.
According to Cancer.org, the five-year survival rate for children with leukemia depends on the type of leukemia a child suffers from. Some types of leukemia have survival rates as high as 85 percent. From Cancer.org:
With acute leukemias, children who are free of the disease after five years are very likely to have been cured, because it very rare for these cancers to return after such a period of time. Current five-year survival rates are based on children first diagnosed and treated more than 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for children diagnosed recently.
Living or visiting the San Francisco area on Nov. 15? You can catch some of the action and even participate in Miles’ day as Batkid. Click here for more info.
Philip Ross joined IBTimes in March 2013. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from New York University and a B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of...