Holy Make-A-Wish Foundation, Batman!
Becoming a favorite superhero is a dream many people share, and thanks to the creative minds at the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Anaheim Police Department in Southern California, that dream came true in an amazing way Monday for a little boy with leukemia.
Seven-year-old Alex Lelenoa, a hard-core fan of Batman, was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago, but that didn't stop him from embarking on a wild and crazy (though carefully orchestrated) crime-fighting spree through Orange County, reports local station KTLA.
Make-a-Wish granted Alex's dream of fighting crime as Batman's trusty sidekick Robin by creating an amazing day full of masked capers, helicopter rides and a pyrotechnics-filled showdown with a famous Batman arch-nemesis. The organization hired a stuntman to play Batman and other actors to fill the roles of various criminals, victims and evil genius Riddler.
Although taken completely by surprise, Alex stepped right into character, according to Sarah Pizzaruso, spokeswoman for Make-a-Wish's Anaheim chapter.
“He was immediately game,” Pizzaruso said, according to ABC. “He didn’t pause for a second. He put on his shoes and said, ‘Let’s go.’”
Beginning his adventure at the police station, Alex was briefed by the police chief and sped to an amusement park where he and Batman helped apprehend some "criminals," according to ABC News. From there, the superheros were whisked into a helicopter, where they spied the Riddler's symbol on the ground. Following a meeting with the Anaheim Angels general manager, Batman and Robin battled the villain, sending him off in a SWAT van before partying with friends and fellow crime fighters back at police headquarters.
Alex's megawatt smile proved the day was a success, and the 7-year-old had a message for the people who made his wish possible.
“I feel really thankful for the foundation,” Alex told KTLA.
In 2010, Make-A-Wish's Seattle chapter created another elaborate superhero fantasy for 13-year-old Erik Martin, who spent a day living as Electron Boy. After saving the city and vanquishing the criminals, Martin told The Seattle Times it had been "the best day of my life."