NORFOLK — Batman was in Norfolk on Friday but the caped crusader wasn’t the biggest hero in town.
Seven-year-old Myles “Mo” Johnson has a rare genetic disorder called Menkes Disease that has forced him to endure countless surgeries in addition to cognitive and motor skill issues. But, Mo loves superheroes, especially Batman, and today he got to meet him.
Batman’s appearance was part of a Make-A-Wish wish granting that will also send Mo and the Johnson family to Disney World. Mo’s’ day started with donuts, then Batman’s appearance, a ride to school in the Batmobile, a visit with the Norfolk PD and a school assembly to celebrate him.
Mo’s dad Eric Johnson says the wish gave Mo his own moment in the spotlight.
“It was pretty special watching him walk through our front door this morning,” Johnson said. “To watch Myles, and now how he’s interacting with his class, it’s been a special day.”
That special day was made possible by Officer Damon Cole, a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer whose efforts outrank even Bruce Wayne. Officer Cole operates a program called Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer and uses his time off to assume the role of a superhero and visit sick kids across the country.
He says he routinely makes trips like his 11-hour journey to Norfolk so he can help these kids to feel like kids again.
“It’s the best feeling the world because people forget that kindness is free,” Cole said. “I try to do my part to make a difference where I can.”
The visit made a difference to the Johnson’s. One of Mo’s older siblings, Jack, also has Menkes and had his Husker football wish granted in 2016. Giving one of their kids a special day is important to a family who lives day-to-day.
“It’s one of those cliche’s where people talk about that, but it’s real-life reality for the Johnson’s. Every day that they wake up and they’re able to function and hang out at school with their kids and lead a somewhat normal life is a true blessing for us,” Johnson said.
Mo’s day may have started out a bit overwhelming, but he warmed up quickly. And what was uncertainty… melted into smiles throughout the day. For Officer Cole, that’s what it’s all about.
“As long as I make him smile, I’m good,” Cole said. “He didn’t have to say one word but as long as we make him smile that’s all that matters for us.”
The Johnson family is set to leave for Disney World on Monday.