Batkid’s Influence Reaches Beyond Gotham, Sparks Nonprofit Interest Locally

Kym Gable reporting

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The tale of a 5-year-old Leukemia survivor who dreamed of being Batman sparked a social media firestorm Friday.

San Francisco was transformed into Gotham City for a Make-A-Wish superhero named Miles.

The organization’s Pittsburgh office felt the impact of that global attention.

Anne Hohn, the Chief Executive Officer of the Make-A-Wish foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “We had more volunteer applications in three days than we have in three weeks. We got 10 new referrals, which means new children coming into the system, asking for a wish.”

All that attention, despite the website crashing on Friday due to too much traffic.

Local volunteers have helped orchestrate everything from being a princess for a day to being a Steeer for a day. Superhero status is a common request. Back in 1999, Pittsburghers came out to applaud Beetle Boy, a 6-year-old battling Cystic Fibrosis.

“In 1999, we didn’t have social media, but we had a huge outpouring in Pittsburgh,” Hohn said. “We think if we could do that kind of thing again today, we would have our own Batkid in Pittsburgh.”

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