Superhero Brings Smiles to 100,000 Sick Children and Families, Healing Himself Since Mom Died of Cancer in 2009
Super powers like x-ray vision, the strength of a locomotive, or the ability to fly may be uplifting in a Marvel movie, but what better skill could uplift a victim in the real world than bringing smiles to children who are desperately ill?
That’s how one man in a Spiderman costume fulfills his mission at children’s hospitals all across America—and with his visits to Alaska and Hawaii last September, he has now played that role in all 50 states.
It’s all part of the fun for Yuri Williams and his Long Beach, California non-profit, A Future Super Hero and Friends, which not only counts hospitals as its turf, but any underserved community. Yuri has organized blood drives, toy drives, and movie nights—all while donning Superhero costumes, and a heart of gold.
“They don’t even call me by my real name anymore, it’s just Spidey or Spider-Man,” the man behind the mask told Hawaii News Now.
Yuri decided to conjure smiles for suffering children as a result of his own healing journey. The idea—to be a hero for those in the frightening grip of a serious illness—came about during his long bout of grief due to his mother’s battle with cancer.
He decided that the best way to deal with his sadness was service to others—and he has since touched the lives of tens of thousands of people.
His surprise visits give the patients, who are sometimes in a dark place emotionally, the ability to be happy again and let down their guard.
In addition to his inspiring work with children, Yuri also actively visits homeless camps to hand out food and clothing. He has started a fundraiser on Patreon, to serve even more people, by “providing art programs and other services for the houseless, disabled, elderly, ill, children, veterans, and anyone in need.”
In a powerful video on Facebook, Yuri described the life-changing emotions he experiences—no matter which costume he dons. “I live for this. When I have to do something the next day, I can’t sleep because I’m just excited to be helping people. It’s an adrenaline rush.”
And when this ‘caped crusader’ of hope sees the children perk up in those hospital beds, he knows he’s done a good day’s work. “I feel like a real superhero.”