The Herald Bulletin
---- — The damsel is rescued. The mascot is safe. And The Riddler and Penguin are behind bars.
Reads like a comic book, doesn’t it? Or perhaps an episode of the 1960s "Batman" television series?
Instead, it was one day in the real life of a very special little boy in San Francisco.
Last week, 10,000 volunteers, thousands of onlookers and what seemed like the entirety of the Internet followed 5-year-old Miles Scott as he fought crime and corruption on the streets of “Gotham.” Miles, diagnosed with leukemia at 18 months old and now in remission, was living out his wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation: To be a superhero, more specifically BatKid, for a day.
Accompanied by a full-grown Batman, Miles started his day by saving a fair damsel strapped to a suspicious-looking device on the cable car tracks. Next, he foiled The Riddler’s attempt to rob a bank vault. Then he set his sights on the Penguin, who had kidnapped Giants mascot Lou Seal. After a (very slow) car chase, Batkid defeated his tuxedo-wearing foe and was whisked away to City Hall, where he received the key to the city.
San Francisco estimates some 14,500 people were on hand for the presentation, and untold masses took part online. Celebrities, athletes, organizations and even President Barack Obama sent messages through Twitter and Facebook cheering on Miles. Many got it right, calling the #SFBatKid event the #BestThingEver.
The fanfare translated to much-deserved exposure and generous donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants a wish every 38 minutes in the U.S. So many people visited wish.org – to the tune of 1,000 hits per second – that the site went down at the peak of Miles’ day.
Some have scoffed at the cost of the production, which the city put at $105,000, likely to be recouped through donations.
But you can’t put a price on a child’s happiness, especially a child who’s known only doctors, hospitals and pain his entire young life.
BatKid saved the day … and a little bit of our humanity along the way.