37 S’pore kids become superheroes with Iron Man
It was a wonderful surprise for the 37 children who had gathered to attend the Avengers Academy event at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre yesterday.
Robert Downey Jr, who plays Tony Stark aka Iron Man, was there to meet them and give out Marvel-themed goodie bags.
Among the 37 children was Seah Wen Le, nine, whose favourite superhero is Iron Man.
Wen Le was diagnosed with leukaemia in November 2012, and he is in remission.
The event is a joint project by Make-A-Wish Singapore, The Walt Disney Company South-east Asia and Marina Bay Sands.
It aims to celebrate the bravery of the Wish children in battling their illnesses, recognising them as superheroes in their own right.
During the event yesterday, the Wish children completed five missions - Thor's Puzzle Quest, Spidey's Memory Match-up, The Incredible Hulk Smash, Avengers Assemble and Cap's Drop Zone - and took an oath to be sworn in as honorary Avengers.
It is also a lead-up to World Wish Day on April 29, which marks the 38th anniversary of the first wish granted, in the 1980s.
Parents were equally excited to see Downey, who is in Singapore to promote Avengers: Infinity War. Some children seemed unable to recognise the Iron Man without his suit.
One boy repeatedly shouted, "Tony! Tony!" as Downey greeted the children.
Wishes do make a difference, and that is why Make-A-Wish is here.President and CEO of Make-A-Wish International Jon Stettner
Downey had requested not to have a stage built for his appearance as he wanted to be closer to the children.
Meanwhile, Wen Le said he wanted to have the superpower to make people laugh.
His father, Mr Seah Weiming, said: "The initial stages of Wen Le's leukaemia were hard, but Make-A-Wish has helped us look on the bright side."
Dr Keith Goh, board chairman of Make-A-Wish Singapore, hopes Make-A-Wish can send the message that there is a hero in all of us.
Mr Anson Quek, chief executive of Make-A-Wish Singapore, said studies have shown that critically ill children gain a more positive outlook on life after having their wish granted, and he hopes to continue to give strength to all Wish children.
The organisation has granted over 1,380 wishes to date.
Mr Jon Stettner, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish International, said: "Wishes do make a difference, and that is why Make-A-Wish is here."