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San Francisco becomes Gotham City, saved by Batkid

Miles, a 5-year-old cancer survivor, got to be Batman for a day, riding the Batmobile, battling supervillains and receiving pleas for help from the police chief.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy   |   Nov. 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM   |   Comments

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Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Thousands of San Franciscans banded together Friday to transform the city into a superhero fantasy for 5-year-old Miles, already a cancer survivor at his young age.

Miles, a kindergartener who was diagnosed with leukemia, got the surprise of a lifetime Friday with a series of Batman-themed adventures, put on by the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the Bay Area.

It began with a televised plea from the "Gotham City Police Chief" -- a role played by San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr -- begging for Miles's help.

"Gotham City needs you Batman," Suhr said. "It's critical that you call me right now."

While riding in his very own Batmobile, Miles -- a.k.a. Batkid -- got to save a damsel in distress tied to the tracks of the Hyde Street Cable Car and stopped the Puzzler in the midst of robbing a vault.

Batkid stopped for lunch at Burger Bar when he got a message from Suhr, telling him to look out onto Union Square, where hundreds of volunteers were gathered to ask for his help. The Penguin kidnapped San Francisco Giants mascot Luigi Francisco Seal.

At the end of it all, Miles will receive a key to the city from Mayor Edwin Lee and Suhr.

"Since he wants to be a superhero, we felt like having a large crowd there waiting with signs and cheering him on would make him feel like a hero, not just because he battle villains and helped fight crime, but he's a true hero," said Jen Wilson, the marketing and promotions manager for Make-A-Wish San Francisco.

Wilson described the interest in Miles's wish "extreme" and said it made it possible to coordinate thousands of volunteers, professionals offering their services, city officials -- even the San Francisco Chronicle got in on the fun, publishing a special edition front page of the "Gotham City Chronicle" with articles by Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Brenda Starr and Perry White.

For Miles, the whole day had been a surprise, but -- aided by an adult-size batman -- he quickly jumped into action.

β€œHe likes to be a superhero,” said Miles' mom, Natalie, whose last name has also not been given. β€œHe is one. He beat an awful disease.”

[GMA]
[NBC Bay Area]

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