The Outside World How Batkid Saved So Much More Than Just San Francisco Published 8 months ago on Jun 26, 2018 By Michael Berdy Miles Scott was a very young boy from a small town in Northern California who became seriously ill. When a charity asked the brave little boy what they could do to best cheer him up, he surprised them with a daunting proposal in the form of a very big wish. But little did Miles realize that an incredible cast of caring individuals was about to band together. And when they created a plan to fulfill his wish, they had no idea just how huge it would become — and how many lives would be changed. Read on for the incredible story of Batkid. 1. Small Town Boy Miles Scott’s parents, Nick and Natalie, led a quiet life in Tulelake, a town in a remote corner of Northern California. There was a strong sense of community in this small hamlet of just barely over 1,000 inhabitants, where Nick worked as a farmer. ABC7 News Eighteen-month-old Miles was snuggling in bed with his parents, when they noticed a lump on his jaw. It looked suspicious, so his mom drove him just across the border to Oregon to get it checked out. But the doctor’s diagnosis was peculiar. 2. Diagnosis The first doctor to take a look at the toddler diagnosed him as having an ear infection. Nick and Natalie were immediately doubtful, as this did not match any of his symptoms. They did blood tests, and waited a few weeks for the results. Modern Luxury As it happened, Miles’ mom Natalie worked for the same doctor. When the results came back, just the look on the doctor’s face told her everything she needed to know. It was the most devastating news a parent could receive: Miles had leukemia. 3. Hospitalized Miles had to be flown immediately to the hospital in Portland, Oregon to begin treatment. Like many toddlers, getting on a plane was a frightening experience. Nick lay on the gurney with his son so they could be strapped down together. Laughing Squid Miles’ young life suddenly became defined by constant transfusions and the weakness that chemotherapy patients go through. His immune system was so fragile that his parents had to keep him away from crowds. But through the ordeal, there was one thing he really loved. 4. A Favorite Hero In between treatments, Miles enjoyed watching old Batman episodes with his dad, Nick. He became obsessed with superheroes, and enjoyed nothing more than getting costumes and toys of them. In a way, Nick thought Miles identified with the battle between good and evil. Batkid Begins Watching the show gave Miles something to enjoy during hard times. The medications and procedures he had to endure exhausted him, and he had nightmares all the time. He didn’t understand what was wrong. But through this fight for his life, there was a ray of light. 5. Miles Has A Wish Miles would undergo several years of chemotherapy to fight the leukemia. Because of his condition, Miles qualified to receive a gift from The Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. His parents organized a meeting with local volunteers for the organization. Batkid Begins The volunteer “interviewed” Miles, and asked him to color a picture of what he wished for. To his surprise, Miles drew a picture of Batman. Did he want a costume? A toy? To meet the actor? None of the above: Miles wanted to be Batman! How can you fulfill that kind of a wish? 6. Batman and…? Miles’ Batman request came to Patricia Wilson, the CEO of the Bay Area branch of Make-A-Wish. Though the wish had stumped more than a few people, Patricia came up with a fantastic idea, a way that they could grant Miles what he had asked for. pix11.com Patricia thought they should have a grown-up in a Batman costume accompany a little Batman, and together they would have a little adventure. And for their project, Miles would receive a new nickname. The Batkid was born! They set to work planning. But where would they do it? 7. Finding Batman Patricia turned to stunt actor and tech whiz Eric “EJ” Johnston with a great question: would you play Batman, and make Batkid’s dream come true? When EJ’s wife, Sue, read the email, she informed him he had no choice in the matter — and she would play a damsel in distress! Wikimedia Commons EJ assumed they would have their day of adventures with Batkid in a park. But Miles’ parents wanted him to have a chance to leave their small town. So they landed on an idea: they would take him to San Francisco! Who could they get on board? 8. San Francisco’s Finest Volunteers Patricia launched into her work, sending emails to anyone she could in key positions in San Francisco. She wanted to transform the big city into Batkid’s very own Gotham. To her delight, everyone she approached was eager to sign up to help out on the mission. Batkid Begins Ama Daetz, a reporter for the local branch of ABC News, was excited to join, as was police chief Greg Suhr. Even the mayor of San Francisco himself, Ed Lee, wanted to be a part of making Batkid’s dream come true. Patricia had a crack team ready to go. 9. Designing Batkid’s Day It was time to hammer out the logistics. Patricia wanted to have around 200 volunteers to join the team, standing on the sidelines at each part of Batkid’s mission to cheer him on. She also envisioned two motorcycle escorts, just to make it seem more real. Batkid Begins EJ also wanted to help the experience seem as realistic as possible for Miles. He fashioned a glove that could project images, just like Batman. All the pieces were falling nicely into place as everyone designed Batkid’s special day. They seemed set. But who would be Batkid’s villain? 10. The Perfect Bad Guy Finding the right villain for Batkid to defeat required some additional brainstorming. The Joker was the first thing that came to mind, but he would be too creepy for a 5-year-old. So they chose the Riddler and the Penguin. The plan had finally come together! Wikimedia Commons It was time to draft more volunteers. The guy they’d found to play the Penguin, Mike Jutan, posted about the plan on his Facebook, trying to get the word out to his circles. He had no idea what would happen next. 11. Going Viral Mike’s Facebook post about their plan to help Batkid save the day went viral. It jumped from blog to blog, writer to writer, to numerous websites and news sources. Like wildfire, it even made the leap overseas. Within a matter of days, the Batkid idea was going international. Mike Jutan’s World Planning A frenzy of phone calls and emails to Mike, EJ, and Patricia started pouring in at a dizzying pace, quickly swamping their inboxes. But all the while, little Miles was back at home in Tulelake. He had no idea just how big he was becoming. 12. Batkid Goes Global Thousands of people began RSVPing to volunteer at the event. Complete strangers from across the country and the world were so touched by the Batkid initiative that they bought plane tickets to San Francisco, so they too could be a part of it. Batkid Begins For part of the day’s festivities, Make-A-Wish were planning a lunch for Miles at a Burger Bar — and seven thousand people made a reservation at the restaurant! Some companies even started producing Batkid T-shirts. So what would Miles’ parents think of these incredibly exciting developments? 13. Staggering Numbers Despite the enormous list of tasks to achieve, and the unbelievable amount of volunteer requests to answer, Patricia made sure to keep Nick and Natalie as updated as she could. But when they heard from Patricia that thirteen thousand people were planning on attending, it made them pause. Batkid Begins The number of participants kept climbing, and it worried Miles’ parents. Their boy was naturally shy, and all he had ever known was the quiet calm of life on a farm in tiny Tulelake. How would he react to massive, overexcited crowds? What if he freaked out and ran away? 14. Keeps On Growing Despite Miles’ parents’ concerns, Patricia was fully confident that their plan to make his day was going to be successful. With so much interest and support, how could they fail? Some people even offered to let them use their own Lamborghinis for the day as a temporary Batmobile. Batkid Begins Representatives from Twitter itself reached out to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, volunteering to take over the organization’s Twitter account for the day so they could give them the best possible coverage with live tweets of Batkid’s adventure. And for the finishing touches, huge names got involved. 15. Artistic Touches The Batkid project even arrived to the ears of some of the country’s finest artists. The composer for the Dark Knight films himself, Hans Zimmer, reached out, saying he wanted to help put the final touches on the day’s action. Amazingly, he was going to compose Batkid’s soundtrack. Batkid Begins The San Francisco Opera tasked themselves with the costumes, sewing, measuring, and mending day and night in order to make everything look perfect. They did this despite having a show in production at the same time! At last, everything was ready. It was time to bring Miles to Gotham. 16. Superhero Skills All Miles knew was he was going to be Batman, and he was traveling on a trip to the big city. He didn’t know he would have to use some acrobatics in one of the obstacle courses built for him. So EJ took him to a gym to train. Batkid Begins Only it wasn’t a gym — it was the circus! All the other acrobats dressed up in superhero outfits, as though this was the gym where actual superheroes trained. Miles was having a great time with EJ. He didn’t realize he would need acrobatics later on — and who EJ really was. 17. Preparing Batkid In his hotel in the Big City the night before his big day, Miles had a visit by Ama Daetz from ABC News. San Francisco locals were already pumped up to see Batkid, and she wanted to show viewers who he was and how excited he was. Batkid Begins Miles didn’t realize Ama was in on the surprise. All he knew was he would have the chance to wear a Batkid costume that had been made just for him. He was happy to be there. What would he feel the next day? 18. Batkid Begins It was morning the next day. Go time. Nick and Natalie popped in a pre-recorded DVD made for Miles. On the TV, he recognized Ama, the news lady who had interviewed him yesterday — but her tone was very different. She said the police chief had an urgent message. Batkid Begins Greg Suhr said he was searching for Batman’s whereabouts, and he needed Batkid’s help! He declared that there was a damsel in distress, and he was desperately looking for someone to come to her aid. The video clip ended. Then came a knock at Miles’ hotel door. 19. Springing To Action It was Batman at the door! Quickly, Batkid donned his costume. Batman asked if he’d practiced his acrobatics, telling him it’d come in handy. Confidently, Batkid responded that he had indeed, not realizing the man in the mask was EJ, the same guy he’d trained with. Together, they raced downstairs. USA Today Outside were thousands of people, some even in costume. News helicopters whirred over Union Square, completely shut down to traffic. The Batmobile roared out of the hotel’s loading dock in a cloud of smoke. Together with their police escort, they blasted off to save the damsel in distress. 20. Saving The Damsel In Distress Batman and Batkid drove to where the police chief had directed them, and found a lady tied to the cable car tracks next to a bomb the Riddler had planted. The cable car was fast approaching. The duo worked together to untie their damsel in distress. AP Photo/Bay Area News Group Greatly relieved, she thanked Batkid and hugged him. But this damsel was no ordinary actor. It was EJ’s wife Sue. That big hug meant everything to her. She finally had the chance to hug the boy she’d heard so much about. But there was no time to lose. 21. Another Mission Awaits The crowd that had gathered by the tracks cheered, but as soon as they had completed their first task, another crisis arose. Using the special glove gadget he’d designed himself, Batman pointed his projector watch at the shiny side of the Batmobile with another message from the police chief. Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group/MCT This time, they had an even bigger challenge to tackle. The police chief explained in his video message that there was evil afoot. The Riddler was holding up a bank! As the crowd shouted their praises, Batman and Batkid rushed off in the Batmobile. 22. Hampering The Heist Batman and Batkid dashed into the bank. It was the first time Batkid had encountered a real-life villain, but he seemed ready for the challenge. The shy five-year-old whose parents were afraid he would bolt under stress showed unbelievable swagger. He had to act fast. Mashable Batkid pushed a button, trapping the Riddler inside a vault. He had caught his first bad guy! Batman received another transmission from the overjoyed police chief. He told the two to go enjoy lunch on him. But little did Batkid know that another villain was on the way. 23. The Lunchtime Dilemma At lunch with Batman at the Burger Bar overlooking Union Square, Batkid said something that made everyone around him, including his family, hesitate. He told them he felt he was done for the day, that all this crime-fighting had been well enough. He was tired. abcnews.go.com If Miles was done, then the day was done. It was his choice, and when a child with leukemia says they’re tired, you listen to them and don’t push them. The rest of the plan could have been canceled right there. But then he looked out the window. 24. Second Wind Miles didn’t quite know how to process what he was witnessing from above. Thousands of fans had gathered in Union Square, jumping, dancing, ecstatic. The crowd was even bigger than San Francisco’s World Series celebrations. Suddenly, they held up a banner with an urgent message for Batkid. Popsugar The Penguin had kidnapped Lou Seal, the SF Giants mascot, and taken him to AT&T Park! Although Miles had been ready to finish his day, Batkid’s superhero instinct kicked in. He was convinced to head out for one last mission — and raced off with Batman to the stadium. 25. Showdown At AT&T Park The Penguin had been tweeting, taunting Gotham and Batkid. Miles was a Giants fan, and he couldn’t let his fellow fans down. Before he chased The Penguin, he went over to Lou Seal to untie him. Then it was time to defeat the bad guy, one last time. @SFWish/Twitter Nick watched as his son symbolically climbed the steep stairs in front of him, pursuing the villain. Through smoke bombs and explosions, Batkid navigated an obstacle course, using his acrobatics skills. The Penguin was caught and defeated! The police chief came on the jumbotron with a message: go to City Hall. 26. Rewarding The Hero Outside San Francisco City Hall, a roaring sea of people had assembled to watch Batkid triumphantly ascend the podium. They were locals, internationals, and tourists, people of all backgrounds who had taken time off work to come celebrate with Miles. Even construction workers stopped building to come cheer. Shelly Provost Officiating over the ceremony was Mayor Ed Lee, and he was beyond excited. He himself got to fulfill a dream: introducing himself not as Mayor of San Francisco, but Mayor of Gotham! Triumphantly, he handed Batkid the keys to the city. And there was one more incredible reveal in store. 27. The Best Announcement Patricia Wilson from Make-A-Wish took the stage. It was the exhilarating conclusion to a dream come true, an unbelievable day that had been her brainchild that she had sweated over. Standing alongside Mayor Ed Lee and Batkid himself, she had an amazing announcement for the thousands gathered before them. Houston Chronicle Patricia told the crowd the secret that only a few select people had known up until then. Miles had finished chemotherapy several months before. His leukemia was in remission! United in their joy, the crowd outside City Hall went absolutely berserk. And they weren’t the only ones. 28. International Fame Inspired by the story of Batkid, fan mail poured into California from all across the world. From Egypt to Norway, the Philippines to US troops in Afghanistan, films, cards, checks, and toys came streaming in for Batkid. There were enough gifts to start his own charity for other ill children. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu Actors who had played Batman on TV and film, including Val Kilmer, Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, Michael Keaton, and Adam West had followed the Twitter livefeed and posted their reactions and videos. Even President Obama and First Lady Michelle were in on it! And there was one last, beautiful twist. 29. Closing The Circle Batkid’s story had begun in tragedy and ended in one of the greatest episodes of mass unity and encouragement in memory. There were two huge acts of kindness to close it all. First, Nick and Natalie still had unpaid medical expenses from the chemotherapy. Fans paid all of it. San Francisco Examiner Next, San Francisco City Hall had a bill of $105,00 for the whole event, which they had gladly paid out of city funds. Two private donors, The Goldman Fund, came forward and covered the tab. Kindness had been repaid with kindness. But what did Batkid feel about his fame? 30. A Modest Hero If you talk to Miles about the day his life was changed, along with those of countless others, he’ll remain quite reserved. According to proud parents Nick and Natalie, he doesn’t grasp the immensity of what happened when he was Batkid. Hollywood Reporter He just enjoyed himself — and that’s exactly what his parents and the Make-A-Wish Foundation had prayed would happen. Ever modest as he finally gets to enjoy a healthy childhood, he doesn’t realize just how many people he brought together, in a collective moment of joy, kindness, and unity. Enjoyed this story? Make sure to SHARE it with your friends! Sources: Dana Nachman Documentary, Wikipedia, ABC7 News UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... Next Page Related Topics:adam westbarack obamabatkidBatmanCaliforniaed leeleukemiamake a wish foundationmayor ed leemiles scottnatalie scottnick scottpatricia wilsonSan Franciscotulelake california Up Next Elementary Schooler’s Cover of “Imagine” Brings Parents to Tears Don't Miss Couple Discovers a Mysterious 5,300-Year-Old Iceman While Hiking In The Alps Continue Reading You may like ‘Saw’ Creator James Wan Eying A Batman Horror Flick? Joker Vs. Batman— 5 Things The Joker Can Do To Beat Batman So Who’s Going To Replace Ben Affleck As Batman? These Celebrity Doppelgangers From The Past Have Us Seeing Double Remember Octomom? 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