The entire nation (even President Obama!) has been caught up in the story of Batkid, a 5-year-old leukemia patient who dreamed of wearing a superhero costume for a day. Make-A-Wish, with the help of the entire San Francisco community, committed to making the event extra special by coordinating a series of heroic activities for Miles, Batkid’s alterego, to undergo.
It’s refreshing (and admittedly tear-inducing) to see such a sweet story the focus of the media for a change. Though this particular wish has gotten a lot of coverage, the truth is Make-A-Wish has granted more than 270,000 wishes throughout the world for children battling terminal illnesses. In the spirit of spreading even more goodwill, here are five more wish stories to warm your heart:
While battling leukemia, Ben had an unusual wish: he wanted to combine his love of video games with his desire to offer comfort to other kids in his situation. His idea was to create a video game about what cancer does to the body that would not only educate, but also be fun. Though the undertaking was a more costly and time-consuming wish than most, the pay-off was great. The game was downloaded for free by tens of thousands of doctors and people with cancer.
“I just want them to learn what the medicine is doing to their body and how it’s helping it,” Ben said. “And I hope that they’ll learn not to give up, to stick with it or you won’t make any progress. And to just hang in there and have fun.” What a cool kid!
Today, Rebecca Schoenkopf blogged a touching tale about Nicole, a 17-year-old friend with Rhabdomyosarcoma whose doctors believed would not live to see her prom. To help make this teenage rite-of-passage happen for the girl, Make-A-Wish threw an early prom on a yacht and invited about 100 of her classmates to make it a proper affair. Even though Nicole was too sick to dance, Schoenkopf described her as “poised and regal, an absolute queen among her subjects.”
Sam loved baseball when he was young, but by the time cancer affected his nervous system at 11 years old, he was no longer able to participate. In order to fulfill Sam’s wish to return to baseball, Make-A-Wish built a real baseball field in his own backyard.
On game day, Sam selected 18 friends to make up a team, which he managed. The whole community turned out to watch the game, including Sam throwing out the first pitch. Leading his team to a victory over a local JV team, Sam finally got the baseball experience he had been craving for so long.
Hong Kong teenager Angel struggled a lot after being diagnosed with stage three Rhabdomyosarcoma, but she also showed a lot of wisdom and maturity when she vowed to live every moment to its fullest. For her wish, Angel decided she wanted to put on a concert for her friends, family and other community members. After writing some of her own music, Angel performed in a venue along with a live band. One of her songs, “Wish,” was even recorded and used to help raise money for other kids’ Make-A-Wish requests.
When the mother of the very first Make-A-Wish recipient asked her six-year-old what he wanted to be when he grew up, Bopsy told her he had wanted to be a fireman. With not a lot of time left for Bopsy, his mom went to the local Phoenix fire department to see if they’d be willing to give him a ride in the truck. The department went well beyond that request, getting Bopsy a custom-fit uniform and making him an honorary fireman for the day. Bopsy rode along with the firefighters for three emergency calls and loved the experience.
Later, as Bopsy’s final moments were upon him, the attending nurse called back the fire department to see if a firefighter could be there as Bopsy passed. Immediately, the department drove over and five firefighters climbed up a ladder and through Bopys’s hospital window to hug the child and congratulate him on becoming a real fireman. With a start like that, it’s no wonder that the Make-A-Wish mission endures to this day.
You can learn more about Make-A-Wish at its website.
You can also find more photos and details of Batkid’s amazing day by checking out #Batkid on Twitter.