“Batkid” brings hope to the terminally ill

In Opinion
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Photo courtesy / Ramin Talaie

The statewide phenomenon that is “Batkid” took California by storm recently when the Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilled the five-year-old’s biggest dream of becoming his crime fighting hero, Batman.

Miles Scott, dressed in a full Batman costume, swept the streets of San Francisco, shadowing Police Chief Greg Suhr in fighting and solving “crime” around the city.

Over 10,000 people showed up to view the Batkid spectacle and encouraged him to save the city.

Miles, who was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was only 18 months old, was one of many survivors who were granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, whose mission is to grant the wishes of children suffering from life threatening illnesses, said “it just cost us our time. Obviously it was necessary to put police resources into it, that happens all over major cities all the time, but this was not publicly funded.”

Some of the money acquired to put on a stunt like staging a Batman-inspired crime, comes from the foundation itself when volunteers and other civilians donate money towards a child and his or her wish.

According to ABC News, “a clothing company donated $10,000 to Miles’ family, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee proclaimed Nov. 15 to be ‘Batkid Day Forever.’”

For once, this event is not about the money, but the memory.

This wish, in particular, went viral and gained the coveted attention of President Barack Obama who encouraged Miles to “go get ‘em!”

The stunt, which lasted almost a full day, truly shook the entire state, since not all of us are faced with battling leukemia at the age of- 5.

“This wish has meant closure for our family and an end to over three years of putting toxic drugs in our son’s body,” Miles’ mother said.

According to 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.

Stories like these restore hope in society and a significant reminder that life really is very short, and to live each day like your last.

Miles represents a symbol of hope, not just for the children themselves, but their families and other victims of terminal diseases.

No wish is impossible. However, there is a struggle with each one that comes along. The Make-A-Wish Foundation could always use more donations and volunteers, but they do their best with what they have. With all the buzz surrounding Batkid’s big day, it seems as though they are doing a pretty good job.

It is important that society acknowledges these feel-good stories and realizes that there are millions of children out there like Miles, dying from life threatening diseases that need the help of citizens and volunteers alike to make sure these wishes come true, even if it is just for a day.

The whole purpose behind the Make-A-Wish Foundation is to turn a negative in one’s life and make it a positive; lift spirits, spread awareness, encourage support from civilians and ultimately make a child’s wildest dreams come true.

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