7-Year-Old with Brain Cancer Meets His Favorite Superhero Inside Actual Batcave: 'It Made My Heart Melt,' Says Mom
Seven-year-old Ty Verbanas thought he was going to a friend’s house to play last Thursday night. His mom told him he could wear his favorite outfit – his Batman costume.
“That’s all he talks about is Batman. He always asks, ‘Can you find Batman? Did you talk to Batman?’ He wanted me to Google Batman’s phone number,” Mary Verbanas, 33, says, laughing.
But the Tampa second grader never made it to his friend’s house. Instead, when his mom pulled into a gas station, a Batmobile showed up, and Batman himself whisked Ty away to a Batcave.
“Ty was nervous and excited, so excited he was shaking,” Mary says.
The young boy was diagnosed with a brain tumor just two weeks ago. Doctors planned emergency surgery and told his mom they weren’t sure how he’d do or if he’d even survive it. Mary posted about Ty’s love for Batman on Facebook, begging anyone to help her “introduce” her son to Batman before he had to undergo the risky surgery.
In just days, Zac Hurst with the M.U.C.H. (Makers United For Children’s Hope Foundation) reached out saying his non-profit was hoping to set up much more than just an introduction.
He and a crew of 30 volunteers, including set designers and a costumer, worked round-the-clock to transform a Clearwater, Florida, studio space into a Batcave.
“It was the most beautiful thing to see it from a 7-year-old’s view,” Hurst tells PEOPLE.
Adds Mary, “It was amazing how much detail everything had. It felt like a cave. The Batman symbol was everywhere.”
On Monday, Ty had surgery to remove his tumor. His mom says doctors were able to get most of it and he came through better than expected. They’re still not sure about his eyesight and he will have to go for monthly MRI’s, but his mom says he’s been telling all of his nurses, “I know Batman. I fight crime with him.”
Hurst says, “This is why we [the M.U.C.H. Foundation] exist. Seeing Ty’s dream come true is why we’re here.”
And his mother couldn’t be more grateful.
“It literally brought tears to my eyes. It made my heart melt” Mary says. “I can’t imagine anybody caring that much to give him something that might have been one of his last memories, but something that is definitely going to be one of his best memories. And they don’t even know us. I can’t say thank you enough.”