By Kelly Werthmann
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Five-year-old Caleb Amaral became a superhero for a day thanks to students at Douglas County High School.
“Everything we did was for this moment,” senior Morgan Adsit said. “It’s amazing.”
As part of Wish Week at the Castle Rock school, a fun-filled assembly was held to honor their Wish kid. Caleb, who has battled leukemia since he was three, told Make-A-Wish Colorado he wanted to go on a Marvel Disney Cruise with his family. Students went above and beyond to make it happen.
Caleb was first surprised by Castle Rock police and Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies at his home Monday morning. Authorities wanted to give him the ultimate ride to the school.
“Yeah!” little Caleb dressed as Spider-Man shouted as he jumped off the back of a Douglas County Sheriff’s SWAT vehicle.
Along with a few students and staff, Caleb was greeted by Batman outside the high school.
“Today we are on the same team,” Batman said.
That’s when Caleb jumped into his own mini cruiser to make his way to the assembly. Walking at his side, the SWAT team and Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley armed with Nerf guns.
“Caleb! Caleb! Caleb!” hundreds of students chanted as the small yet mighty hero made his grand entrance.
“I just bawled,” Haley Glover, a junior who helped organize the event, said. “I was so overwhelmed with joy and happiness for Caleb.”
Spider-Man, Ironman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and more watched as Caleb put his super powers to the test. Pushing past his painful fight against cancer, Caleb fought against villains and minions instead.
“I liked using the silly string,” Caleb told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann of his brave battle. “That was awesome.”
SHARE YOUR STORY: Share A Together 4 Colorado Story Idea With CBS4
Caleb’s parents smiled as they watched their little boy embrace the special day. Scott Amaral said he already knew his son was a hero.
“He’s been a very strong kid,” he said. “Through the spinal taps, drugs, needles and chemo every day. I couldn’t go through what he’s endured. That’s why he’s my hero.”
A hero the Castle Rock Police chief said is needed on their force to protect the community.
“We would like to make you an honorary Castle Rock Police officer,” Cauley told Caleb.
More cheers erupted in the stands.
“We definitely felt the love from everyone,” Lois Amaral, Caleb’s mom, said.
Then it was time for the “miracle minute.” Students rushed to the center of the gym filling buckets with cash they raised for Make-A-Wish Colorado. It totaled more than $47,000 — enough to grant not only Caleb’s wish, but the wishes of six other kids.
“It makes such a difference for us,” Scott said. “It gives kids hope which helps us get through all of this.”
Caleb may be in the midst of his toughest fight yet, but the mighty little hero has the love of his community to help him through.
“Every once in a while it’s nice to know you’re not alone,” Scott said.
The Amaral Family plans to leave on their cruise next month.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.