US & Canada

San Francisco rallies for 'Batkid' Miles Scott, leukaemia survivor

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Media captionMiles Scott got to pretend he was Batman for the day, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, as Claire Brennan reports

Thousands of people in San Francisco have turned out to help a boy recovering from leukaemia fulfil his wish to be Batman for a day.

Miles Scott, five, participated in events across the city including fighting mock crimes and receiving an honour from the mayor.

Make-A-Wish Foundation, which organised the event, received pledges from more than 10,000 people to lend a hand.

Miles, in treatment for several years, is now said to be in remission.

According to local television, the youngster thought he was just on his way to get a Batman costume so he could dress like his favourite superhero.

Miles nabs villains

But then he heard a broadcast from San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr appealing for help from "Batkid".

Next, the pint-sized superhero saved a "damsel in distress", tied to cable car tracks along a major urban street.

A San Francisco Chronicle live blog of the day's events showed hundreds of people cheering Miles on during the "rescue".

Miles was ferried from events in one of two "Batmobiles", or black Lamborghinis with Batman removable stickers, which were escorted by police.

Later, he foiled a faux robbery in the city's financial district with the help of an adult Batman impersonator.

Authorities who participated in the day's events pretended to apprehend the villain, the Riddler.

Miles also travelled to AT&T Park to rescue the San Francisco Giants baseball team mascot by disarming a fake bomb planted by another classic Batman baddie, the Penguin.

'Military operation'

The US justice department even prepared an indictment for the Riddler and the Penguin.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Miles Scott is now in remission following treatment for leukaemia

Towards the end of the day San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee gave Miles a key to the city.

US President Barack Obama praised the mini-caped crusader in a video from the White House, saying: "Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham."

An estimated 7,000 people turned up to help make Miles' wish come true.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation said the event was "on the scale of a military operation".

In real life, Miles has defeated an enemy even more ruthless than Batman's nemeses - he is presently recovering from leukaemia, with which he was diagnosed at 18 months old.

His mother, Natalie, said Friday was a "celebration" of her son's completion of treatment in June.

"This wish has meant closure for our family and an end to over three years of putting toxic drugs in our son's body," she wrote in a statement on the foundation's website.

His father, Nick Scott, thanked the charity and everyone else who took part.

"All the doctors, nurses and all the other parents that have to deal with the same thing we're going through, I hope they get a conclusion to their illnesses like we're getting," he told KGO-TV.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Crime never stops, but thankfully neither does Batkid - here's the pint-sized superhero, aka Miles Scott, on his way to foil another dastardly deed
Image copyright AP
Image caption The mini-caped crusader leaps from the Batmobile for his next caper
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Batkid is hugged by a "damsel in distress" he has just rescued
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Kapow! Take that, the Riddler. That'll teach you to mess with Batkid
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Miles' adoring public are lost in admiration for his indefatigable heroics
Image copyright AP
Image caption The San Francisco Chronicle transformed its masthead into the Gotham City Chronicle to honour Miles, with a front-page story penned by "Clark Kent"
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Holy smoke! The Penguin's trying to make Giants mascot Lou Seal a Los Angeles Dodgers fan - a crime justice officials said was "in violation of all laws of Gotham City". And he almost got away with it...
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption ...until Batkid showed up
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Batkid takes a moment to accept the gratitude of the cops for his services to Gotham
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption And as he leaves the Giants stadium, Miles explains to a fan how he did it
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption We salute you, Batkid

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