Superheroes swoop in to cheer up terminal child at Duke Children's Hospital

Saturday, July 25, 2015
Spider-Man cheers up terminal child
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A local man is dressing up as Spider-Man, and bringing all of his superhero friends, to cheer up a little boy with brain cancer

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A sick child at Duke Children's Hospital got the visit of a lifetime from a whole cast of his favorite comic book characters Saturday.

Suiting up as a superhero is second nature for Rick Schafferman. For years, he's played the role of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man at charities across the Triangle.

"I've always been a fan. Obviously I put a lot of work into the costumes that I make," Schafferman said.

Schafferman spent hours perfecting his costume, hand-painting every detail, and designing all of Spidey's essential accessories.

His passion for the superhero grew even more last year, after meeting a little boy named Micah at the N.C. Comicon Convention.

"[Micah] was also dressed as Spider-Man, so it was awesome," Schafferman joked. "I called him the puffy Spider-Man because he had all the puffy muscles."

Micah has terminal brain cancer and doctors say he won't live much longer.

"I can related to him as well because of his fandom for Spider-Man for one, for two, he's so young and he's just losing a battle," Schafferman explained. "He hasn't even been able to live his life yet. I would trade places with him in an instant."

Spider-Man paid Micah a visit last week at Duke Children's Hospital. Even on ventilator and pain medication, Micah couldn't stop smiling.

"I promised Micah the next time I came to visit I would bring a huge group of my friends with me," Schafferman said.

Spidey put together a special reunion this weekend with more than a dozen superheroes and villains by his side.

"All in all, he's just a really special kid and that's why I'm doing this," Schafferman said.

Spider-Man and his friends visited Micah on Saturday in the PICU at Duke Children's Hospital.

To learn more about Schafferman and his mission, click here.

Superheroes gather at Durham hospital to support children
Allen Butcher

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