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New Rule: Kids Get To Be Immortal

Miles SuperheroNew rule: kids get to be immortal. Because I don’t want to read another story about a kid who is facing a life so short they probably won’t make it to first grade.

On November 15, San Francisco will be turned into Gotham City as 5-year-old Miles, a leukemia patient, has his dream of becoming Batman made into reality.

My kids LIVE in their superhero pajamas. Last night after work, 2 Spider-Men ran down the stairs to greet me. This morning I had breakfast with Batman and Iron Man.

That picture of Miles at the left could be my Charlie. He could be my Zacharie. He could even be my friend’s daughter (although with more glitter).

You can’t help but put your kid’s face in these stories and it breaks your heart. So to see them have dreams come true makes us smile, if just for a minute, before our heart breaks again.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is really pulling out all the stops next week, inviting people to become part of flash mobs cheering Miles on as Batkid captures The Penguin and The Riddler.

On November 15th, Miles will get his wish! The day will begin with a breaking news story. San Francisco’s Police Chief will ask if anyone knows the whereabouts of Batkid.

After rescuing a damsel-in-distress from the Hyde Street cable-car tracks in Nob Hill, then capturing the Riddler in the act of robbing a downtown vault, and apprehending the Penguin, Batkid will make a final stop at City Hall where the Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, along with the Police Chief, will congratulate him on his daring feats of justice and present him with a key to the city.

My heart is smiling in anticipation.

But the tears come back because after Miles, there will be another child who needs a dream to come true as he faces a shorter future than deserved. Miles’ story lit up my feed this past week  and it was a welcome break from the terrible news my stream has seen. This fall has been absolutely heartbreaking as I’ve watched a colleague’s son fall terribly ill.

Ryan and Chantal’s son Keian is 6. My oldest, Zacharie, is 6. Keian wants to be a police officer, doctor, superhero so he can help people. Same for my Z. Keian lost his first tooth last week. Zacharie has a wiggly one ready to drop. These two boys are so alike and then I remember… Keian has leukemia.

It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to watch the comments from Keian’s mom come across my Facebook feed. For example:

Every time we are given another set of challenges, Keian and I have a little talk and it always begins with how he promises he’ll stay with me forever. Yesterday, rather than hearing those beautiful words, he softly says; “I’ll stay with you as long as I can.” 

OMG. Keian knows. I can’t. even. imagine. a six year old being able to grasp the depths of his destiny. I’m worried about my son learning to read, the Blundells are worrying about whether or not they’ll see their son in the morning.

I just can’t.

This summer, we all held out hope as Keian faced leukemia for the third time, but as the leaves changed, so did his situation. The family has moved into Canuck Place, a hospice where they can have more comfortable surroundings than a traditional hospital setting.

Each day that passes here we try to make sure we Smile. Yesterday, we spent the afternoon at the pumpkin patch – had some smiles and felt a lot of love. As we rode the wagon out to the patch, they sang “You are my sunshine” and I couldn’t control the tears. He doesn’t know the significance of this and I know he is only doing it for the simple reason of showing love, but these last couple days, he has made [us] birthday cards and tonight, he gave me a Mother’s Day card. I am so thankful for him.

You know how you nested before your baby arrived? That’s what I imagine Keian is doing, except he’s preparing things for a future that he will likely never see.

His parents have been told Keian has but a few weeks left and they’re trying to cram a lifetime into these few, short days they have left with their oldest son.

He’s been trick-or-treating, had visits from stormtroopers and hockey stars, and then RCMP Cadet Mark Peterse heard about Keian’s wish to be a police officer.

Peterse approached the RCMP about altering old uniforms into an official Red Serge fit for a new six-year-old recruit. They agreed. The cadet class signed his hat, and RCMP Staff Sgt. Maj. John Buis showed up to make Keian a part of the team.

These sorts of magical wishes are made for children every day and they mean the world to these kids and their families.

“I love seeing that smile. It’s like that quiet, reserved (smile), and you can just tell he’s about to burst with excitement,” Keian’s dad, Ryan, told The Burnaby Now.

So you see the smile from Miles as he dreams of being Batman, and you see the smile from Keian as he becomes a police officer and you realize that we’re all good and we look out for each other and you can feel the impact these grand gestures have not only for the kids, but for the families.

“It makes you really remember how much humanity looks out for each other,” continued Ryan.A lot of people might feel alone in the world especially in this situation, … dealing with kids with cancer but just the fact that absolute strangers are able to reach out for the sake of just helping or bringing a smile to someone’s face.”

Those smiles are the happiest smiles you can see through your own tears.

Image via Make a Wish

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