Categories: Bay Area

San Francisco becomes Gotham for boy battling cancer

Five-year-old Miles dreams of being Batman in his very own Gotham City. On Friday, San Francisco will become that city for the youngster from Tulelake in Siskiyou County, who is battling leukemia.

Thanks to a Make-A-Wish Foundation event, Miles will be called in to save the day as “Batkid” when villains steal Giants mascot Lou Seal, attempt to rob a downtown bank and perform other evil deeds.

Miles’ crime-solving day is part of the foundation’s mission to turn dreams into reality for sick children.

Foundation spokeswoman Jen Wilson said the kindergartner, whose surname was not released, has no idea what’s in store for him when he visits the Bay Area with his family Friday.

Wilson said the foundation has been working with his parents to get advice on what would appeal to Miles, but even his parents don’t know the full extent of the activities planned for the young superhero-to-be.

The plans include a morning call from Police Chief Greg Suhr asking Miles to help a damsel in distress on a cable car, and then assisting in capturing the Riddler as he raids a downtown vault.

While Miles is taking a lunch break at the sixth-floor restaurant at the Macy’s store in Union Square, a crowd will form in the plaza below, urging Batkid to help free Lou Seal.

In a Batmobile convertible, Miles will be called to chase the seal’s captor, Batman nemesis Penguin, and save Lou Seal. He will then meet Mayor Ed Lee, who will present him with a key to The City at City Hall.

Wilson said volunteers are being asked to gather at Union Square as part of the flash mob for Batkid shortly before 12:45 p.m., and more volunteers are being sought to cheer on Miles at City Hall.

The youngster is expected to arrive around 2 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza, where the crowd will hold up signs of encouragement and praise as he receives recognition from the mayor on the City Hall steps.

Curator Andrew Farago of San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum has also gotten in touch with friends at DC Comics and Warner Bros. to get Miles some Batman toys and merchandise.

More than 1,200 volunteers have signed up online to attend the various events.

SF Examiner
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