Could there be a better candidate for feel-good story o the year than Batkid?
The 5-year-old, cancer-battling
superhero was a global media sensation, and he gave the Make-A-Wish Foundation
publicity you just can’t buy.
Sixteen-year-old Raymond Remick's dream was to meet his football heroes, the New York Giants. On Friday, the Make-A-Wish Foundation made his dream come true.
"You know, they really make it happen. I think it is awesome," said Raymond.
Raymond was born with a dangerous heart condition, a fact never far from his father's mind.
"It's very satisfying," dad Jim Remick said
of the event with the Giants. "From a parental perspective, there is a
little bittersweet to it. So there has been a lot of emotion going on."
Last month, 5-year-old Miles Scott was granted a superhero-sized wish. The young cancer patient wanted to be Batman for a day.
He donned a mask and cape and, thanks to thousands of volunteers, fought a series of staged crimes around San Francisco. The video of his exploits, and how the entire city enabled them, became an Internet phenomenon.
The publicity helped increase donations to Make-A-Wish by 26 percent during the holiday season,
"We thought it
was going to be a great day, we felt confident about that. But we didn't
anticipate on a scale of what it eventually became," said Paul Miles, vice
president of development for the organization.
"I thought maybe it would be huge and that would be awesome. But then, I thought, I do want to keep it personal. You know, I want to be able to do what I want without hundreds of thousands of people following me," said Raymond.
The charity will have
granted 14,000 wishes by year’s end, ranging from meeting celebrities to trips
to amusement parks. The average cost per wish is $8,000. But after the
so-called Batkid event, the number of wishes has increased – as has the number
of the more complex requests.
Even before Batkid, requests for more complicated wishes were on the increase. Make-A-Wish is now exploring ways to use social media to publicize other such events, hoping they too go viral.
By the way, as part of his wish, Raymond and his family will attend the Giants game on Sunday.