Striker Boy: Make-A-Wish Turns Nine-Year-Old Cancer Patient Into Superhero
Probably by the time you read this, a little boy from Coral Springs is living out his dream. We're not talking about like a new bike or some video game console. We're talking about a big-budget, Brett Ratner-sized-spectacle dream, all courtesy Make-A-Wish Southern Florida and TooJay's in Coral Springs (which raised the funds). Nine-year-old Jaylen Hyde is currently battling leukimia. When the organization asked what he wanted to be, his answer was -- to be his very own superhero, Striker Boy. And now, like the BatKid who basically broke the internet last November, Hyde is going to be romping around Broward all day, saving lives and taking names.
See also: Striker Boy Saves the Day (Slideshow)
"Since I've been involved with the organization, it's our first superhero," says Norm Wedderburn, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida's president and CEO. "He doesn't know it yet, but we've developed a whole logo for him and a special outfit. The execution of this wish is as complicated as any of our largest events. There are a lot of different aspects. That's one of the things that's special about these types of wishes."
According to Wedderburn, kids typically ask to be policemen or firefighters for the day. Make-A-Wish works with law enforcement and departments so they can bust a mock villain or put out a staged fire. "The 'I-want-to-be' wishes always create a certain buzz."
But the organization's planners had to start from scratch with Hyde's Striker Boy, from his logo to the nice ride to his own hash tag (#StrikerBoy).
On Friday morning (Hyde's 9th birthday), he'll learn about his day with a breaking news bulletin video. Then, heeding the call to action, Striker Boy will hop in his costume and jump in the Strikermobile (a stadium-mustard yellow Lamborghini). From there, Striker Boy will drive off to Nova Southeastern University at 10 a.m., where he'll have to disarm an explosive device at a soccer game.
But the work isn't done. Next up, Striker Boy will catch a helicopter ride. From the air, he'll spot a burning building. After riding to the scene in a fire truck, he'll put down the flames. He'll next stop super villain Sneaky Pete from snatching a damsel's puppy. After capturing the bad guy, he'll haul him off to BSO's jail, where Striker Boy will hold a press conference. The kicker: a birthday party at BSO.
Make-A-Wish staffers are getting ready to steadily pump out updates on Striker Boy's exploits throughout the day on social media. If you punch #StrikerBoy into your search engines you'll be able to follow along on Twitter and Facebook. You can also check back at New Times, where we'll have a slideshow of photos from Striker Boy's big day.
Saving puppies and getting ladies. All in a day's work for Striker Boy.
Update: Striker Boy has done it! He saved the day, defeated Sneaky Pete, and rescued the puppy! He's the hero South Florida deserves.
Check out video from his big day on the next page.