Seven-year-old Leukemia patient turns superhero in Make-A-Wish, police partnership

Interim Chief Raul Quezada and other Anaheim police gather around Lelenoa, his mother, and Batman

Interim Chief Raul Quezada and other Anaheim police gather around Lelenoa, his mother, and Batman

By Anthony F Irwin

The Anaheim Police Department partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to give Alex Lelenoa, a seven- year-old Leukemia patient from Anaheim, the chance to fight crime alongside his hero, Batman, and APD officers.

Before he fought crime, Lelenoa first was sworn in by Chief Raul Quezada.

“It was great to help such a strong young man in his situation,” said Quezada.  “It’s nothing short of inspirational to see him deal with his illness with that great smile.”

After the ceremony with the chief, introduction to Batman, and wardrobe change, – a “Robin” costume was given to him at the station – Lelenoa was escorted by several patrol cars to Knott’s Berry Farm for his first encounter.

A number of “Crooked Cowboys” ambushed a Sherriff’s Deputy in the park and only Lelenoa’s special ability to freeze his foes with a bracelet given to him by Batman could wrangle them up.

The Dynamic Duo then made their way to Pirates Dinner Adventure off Beach Boulevard to see to some “Pillaging Pirates” that held a couple pirate-women hostage.  Lelenoa used his special power to freeze the pirates and free the damsels in distress.

After a brief snack time, it was off to Angel stadium, where the Batmobile was waiting.

Lelenoa got a ride in the Batmobile to the location of his main target, the Riddler.  The group made an explosive entrance to a warehouse on La Palma and was met by The Riddler and several henchmen.

Lelenoa froze the gang and helped drag the Riddler to “Bear.”  With his nemesis in custody, Lelenoa said, “We got him! Thanks, everyone! I can’t believe we got him!”

When the Riddler asked if he and Lelenoa could still be friends, Robin responded “Only if you promise not to do bad things anymore.”

Having taken care of all the bad guys, it was time for Robin to make his heroic return to the station.  More than 200 people, including Mayor Tom Tait, Mayor Pro Tem Gail E. Eastman, Councilwoman Kris Murray, and Anaheim High School’s cheer squad gathered in APD’s parking lot to cheer him on.

Lelenoa and his mother, Elizabeth Stoffer, received a gift basket from Sephora, an official APD police badge, and tickets to watch the Anaheim Ducks’ season opener.

Stoffer, on her son’s wish come true: “I don’t know what to say, I just can’t stop smiling.”


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