The first hashtag to give #obamacare some competition in awhile, #SFBatKid took Twitter by storm. The pint sized 5 year old hero, who fought leukemia followed by 2 more villains on Friday, was granted one of the most epic wishes of all time, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the power of social media. This inspirational story sent a feel-good vibe rippling throughout the internet and news media alike and showed the beautiful, inspirational impact social media can have on humanity.
Battling leukemia since he was 20 months old, Batman enthusiast Miles is now in remission after his last round of chemotherapy. Stronger than ever, his parents thought this would be the perfect time to ask the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make Miles’ dreams of being a Batkid superhero come true. Patricia Wilson, executive director of the Bay Area branch, began looking for volunteers to transform San Francisco into Gotham City for a day, giving Miles back some of the childhood he lost to his sickness. Wilson knew she would be able to create an experience that a 5 year old would appreciate, but she never expected it to become the experience of a lifetime for everyone involved. There was such an overwhelming response of volunteers that officials had to turn some away. In a video by San Francisco Chronicle, Wilson says, “It got picked up by a blogger and it just went viral and as a result, the wish has taken on a life of its own.”
From the police officers, local merchants, actors, and everyone who made this day possible to the Batkid fans who came out to cheer him on and spread their images and videos throughout their social networks, San Francisco showed what an amazing (and tech-savvy) community they have. Clever Girls Social Media was the agency behind the #SFBatKid social activity, leading many influential accounts to get involved. Around the world prominent people from Kid President to President Obama, celebrities (including those who have played batman) and the rest of the masses have shown their support, further spreading the word.
The US Department of Justice created a formal indictment for The Riddler and The Penguin and The SF Chronicle transformed it’s newspaper into a special Gotham City edition all for the fun of making one young hero’s dreams come true. Against typical Batman fashion, Miles Batkid revealed his identity as he was granted a Ghiradelli chocolate key to the city from Mayor Edwin Lee, so the world could see the pure joy they helped put on his face.
With the wave of hope that being Batkid has brought, we’re hoping Miles stays in remission and continues to live his life as a superhero.