Ty Verbanas is an 8 year old boy from Tampa, Florida. He loves Batman. He wears Batman pajamas to bed, while snuggling a Batman doll. He also survived an incredibly risky brain surgery to remove a cyst.
Last October, Ty began having seizures. Doctors then discovered a very large calcified cyst covering the left side of his frontal lobe. Doctors informed his mother, Mary, that he had to undergo surgery to remove it. Unfortunately, the surgery had a 27% chance of survival. Even if he survived, however, the boy will have to live with slurred speech, stunted motor functions, and one blind eye.
With the impending surgery, though Mary was petrified, she didn’t want Ty to feel the same. Therefore, she looked to Facebook for someone to dress up as Batman to visit him and help inspire him to stay brave and strong. A wonderful nonprofit organization called Makers United for Children’s Hope, or the MUCH Foundation answered.
The MUCH Foundation, founded by Zachary Hurst, consists of nearly 400 cosplayers sought to bring hope to sick children by bringing their favorite comic book characters to life. The cosplayers would attend events or visit sick children at hospitals.
For Ty, however, they went way beyond that. With a donation of $3,000, a group 30 volunteers convened at 4k Studios, a soundstage in Largo, to create the “Florida Batcave.” From there, it was just a matter of offering Ty a chance to become Batman’s sidekick.
Four days before his surgery on February 16th, Mary asked Ty to wear his Batman costume to go to a party. Taking a pit stop at a convenience store nearby, Ty met Batman, who asked him to be sidekick.
“Batman was looking for him because he’d heard Ty was brave enough to be his new partner.”
Batman brought him to the Batcave, introduced him to meet a few other superheroes including Superman and Wonder Woman, and asked Ty if he would help Batman fight crime once he recovered from his surgery. Ty, of course agreed.
After the 10=hour surgery, Ty went into a coma for 2 days. Two days after waking up from his coma, Ty asked,
“When can I see Batman?” Though Ty may have to face another surgery in the future in the event another cyst appears, Ty has recovered without any of the hindrances the doctors fearfully predicted.
Now that Ty is well enough, he has been training with Batman at the Shinobi School Tampa Parkour Academy to help hone his skills. Next month, the MUCH Foundation will kick-off the event. Ty’s mom will be kidnapped by the Riddler, forcing Ty and Batman to undergo a scavenger hunt to save her. Along the way, Ty will face many other rogues.
Ty currently believes that all of this is real. The MUCH Foundation and Mary will continue to maintain the illusion until he is older and emotionally ready. Once they reveal the truth, they’d hope that Ty will join them as Batman’s sidekick to visit other sick children. The cycle of heroism continues!
Well, there’s your uplifting story of the day. I can’t even describe how great this makes me feel, nearly moving me to tears. I really have to thank the MUCH Foundation for doing something so incredible for one little boy.
Check out these photos, courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times:
Check out more details about this beautiful story at the Tampa Bay Times.