The Batkid (Make-A-Wish Foundation)
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A young leukemia patient was realizing his dream to become Batman for a day, with an army of volunteers transforming part of San Francisco into ‘Gotham City’ Friday.
5-year-old Miles Scott from Siskiyou County traversed the city Friday, maneuvering through huge throngs of admirers as a superhero fighting crime with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Volunteers, businesses, the San Francisco Giants and even the city’s mayor and police department were all pitching in to make the adventure as realistic as possible.
Miles, whose leukemia is currently in remission, has become an internet sensation as the project which has taken on a life of its own through social media.
Just after 10 a.m. Friday, Miles emerged from a Union Square garage in the Batmobile, accompanied by a second Batmobile, in front of a throng of onlookers, well-wishers and reporters held back by police barriers.
The vehicles — two black Lamborghinis with Batman decals – were escorted by police, who also blocked off roads.
“There’s going to be mayhem and it’s going to be wonderful mayhem and love,” said Make-A-Wish Executive Director Patricia Wilson. “”I’ve been at Make-A-Wish for 15 years and never did I think something like this would be possible.”
Miles had some help … in the form of a full-sized Batman – played by inventor and acrobat Eric Johnston – encouraging him along the way as he confronted dastardly foes like the Riddler and the Penguin.
“Riddler and Penguin are watching right now. we can’t tip our hand to them,” said Johnston.
There was a damsel in distress saved on the Hyde Street cable car tracks, and the Riddler was foiled after trying to rob a bank vault on Montgomery Street.
Then during a quick lunch near Union Square, the next crime involved the evil Penguin kidnapping Giants mascot Lou Seal before our hero’s eyes.
Batkid reportedly chased them down in the Batmobile, saving Lou Seal and saving the day.
Friday’s caped crusades ended with a special honor for Batkid from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at City Hall Friday afternoon.
Organizers hope Friday’s day-long celebration of Miles will give him new powers. “Some new skills, to face things that are changing too fast, that you’re not sure how it’s going to go and just charge into it doing backflips,” said Johnston.