San Francisco Turns Into Gotham City for Make-a-Wish Boy

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 11:46 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A 5-year-old California boy will save San Francisco Friday, with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and thousands of volunteers, when he becomes Batkid to rescue a transformed Gotham City.

Miles, whose last name was not disclosed, lives in Siskiyou County and was diagnosed with leukemia at 1 years old, according to the San Jose Mercury News. He is now in remission, according to Make-A-Wish. 

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"We knew a superhero wish would be really cool, but it's kind of surreal to see what's happened," Patricia Wilson, executive director of the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area chapter, said. "Receiving a wish is a life-transforming experience for any child, and it's apparently the case for everyone who wants to be involved in this wish."

Miles' wish took on a life of its own when 12,000 people signed up via social media to help the boy become Batkid and cheer him on as conquers masked bad guys and foil staged plots to rescue a San Francisco-ized Gotham.

Wilson she believed one posting on Facebook asking to volunteers was all it took for people to reach out to Miles, according to the Mercury News.

"You know it's big when the Goodyear Blimp people are calling us," Wilson said.

Eric Johnston, a Bay Area inventor and acrobat, will play Batman as he assists Miles throughout the day. He and his wife, Sue Graham Johnston, also created Bat-style tools that include a wrist device that will play previously recorded messages from San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr for Batkid throughout the day.

The San Francisco Chronicle will distribute special-edition newspapers with the headline, "Batkid Saves City," in Union Square, where a flash mob will gather. Suhr appeared on KGO-TV morning to call for BatKid's help to fight crime.

An anonymous donor has even loaned a Lamborghini that will serve as the Batmobile for the day.

"This has turned into a full blown phenomenon," Suhr told reporters on Thursday.

Batkid is expected to finish his long day of crime fighting by going to City Hall where the mayor and police chief will give him the key to the city.

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