ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Thwarting a bank robbery, putting out a fire and rescuing someone from a collapsed building.
It was all in a day’s work for a 10-year-old boy from Florida who made a wish to be a superhero robot.
They say if you’re going to dream then dream big.
Gaige Pike was born with a condition that includes abnormal tissue growth and is recovering from open heart surgery. He told Make A Wish he wanted to be a superhero robot.
That’s how RoboGaige was born.
“These are the lasers I used to catch the bad guy,” RoboGaige said, showing off his robot costume.
His mother, Amanda Pike, said his super-suit was a little bigger than she thought it would be.
Not satisfied with stopping that bank robbery, RoboGaige put out a fire and rescued a victim, too. Then he took a trip on the tower truck for good measure.
“He’s just over the moon because all of this we kept a secret until today,” Amanda said. “Before he couldn’t really like participate in being a kid. He couldn’t run around and play and do anything like this at all.”
Hundreds worked to coordinate it all — the sheriff’s department and fire services. All so Make A Wish could do what it does best.
“He’s doing his superhero pose and waving to the crowd,” Anne Cuba with Make A Wish said. “In that moment of being a super hero, you can’t — money can’t buy any of that.”
“To have him being able to save people, put out fires and everything, it’s like the best day of his entire life,” Gaige’s mom said.
All the organizers asked the community to turn out to make this superhero wish extra special. They all came, enthusiastic and carrying signs.
Orange County’s mayor showed his support, thanking Gaige for catching the robber.
“It doesn’t get any better than this, so we’re very proud of RoboGaige and this young man, what he really means to all of us,” Mayor Jerry Demings said.
His final rescue was from a simulated building collapse.
“Well, I really just wanted to save people,” Gaige said.
A full day to be sure.
“It was just a little scary, but we got through,” the 10-year-old said.
And those who turned out lined the way for Gaige as his work was finished. One last thank you for choosing to save others as his once-in-a-lifetime wish.
“He’s one of the most generous and kind souls that I have ever met in my life. He is my hero,” his mother said. “For everything that he’s gone through and overcome and everything like that, I cannot be more proud to call him my son.”
After his long day, he’s feeling pretty great and a little tired, too — but who wouldn’t.