Last week’s amazing story of San Francisco’s beloved “Batkid” has generated a new wave of interest in the Make-A-Wish Foundation across other cities, including San Diego.
According to Chris Sichel, president of the Make-A-Wish San Diego Foundation, the impact of the young boy’s inspirational story is also being felt locally.
“People were enamored with [the story]. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Live TV broadcast, tears of joy – it was a wonderful story,” said Sichel.
Sichel said the enormous popularity of Batkid has meant a huge boost for Make-A-Wish.
“The number of inquiries on the website was off the charts. [We’ve gotten] five times as many hits on the website as we normally do,” he said.
Not only did the Make-a-Wish website almost crash, but there were huge spikes in San Diegans contacting the foundation about donating their time as volunteers, as well as an increase in inquiries about making a wish for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
The story of Batkid also had an impact on other kids, including 4-year-old Oliver Ranson of Alpine.
Oliver knows about Batkid and saw him on TV.
Like Batkid, Oliver has been fighting his own battle against a life-threatening illness. Two years ago, he underwent chemotherapy against brain cancer.
At the time, the boy’s wish was for a backyard playground where he could run around and simply be a kid.
Thanks to Make-A-Wish, Oliver’s dream came true.
His parents, Renee and Keith Ranson, consider the playground a real lifesaver for their child.
“The playground gave him strength to fight cancer, and gave him something to look forward to,” said Keith.
So, when the Ranson family saw Batkid last week, they knew exactly what that special wish and day would mean for Miles Scott’s family.
“To turn around and see all those people beside them – it’s kind of beyond words,” said Renee.
The power of people – it can do amazing, uplifting things from San Francisco to Alpine.
And the wish-granting won’t stop there.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation said they grant hundreds of wishes each year in San Diego, but thanks to Batkid and a steady boost in donations, that number could be on the rise.
Learn more about how to donate here.