Batman surprises Upstate boy battling rare disease during SC Com - FOX Carolina 21

Batman surprises Upstate boy battling rare disease during SC Comicon

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Ashton meets Batman. (Source: John Buckland). Ashton meets Batman. (Source: John Buckland).

"The only thing that we take with us when we die is our legacy, and our legacy is what we do for others while we were here," said John Buckland, who also goes by Batman. 

Ashton Bridges is about to turn 7-years-old, but in the eyes of his parents and Buckland, he's already created a legacy. Bridges has a rare disease, one that weakens the immune system and makes him vulnerable to childhood cancer. 

"Only thirty something people who have it. So because of that, I wanted to try and do something to help rally the troops to his side and maybe raise awareness to an illness that people haven't even heard of before. Because I've never heard of it," Buckland said. 

Ashton's parents, Shannon and Wendy Bridges, explained it was last May that they went through genetic testing - a test that concluded that Ashton has DNA Ligase iv Syndrome.

"With that, there's a chance of leukemia, lymphoma," said Bridges. "His bone marrow doesn't function at 100%, it only functions at 50%."

Buckland said there is something about sitting inside the Batmobile that provides a sense of hope. He said he hopes that happens on Monday when a big surprise is planned. A large assembly will take place at the Village School of Gaffney at 9:30 am. The event is open to the public. After that, Ashton will have an opportunity to ride inside the Batmobile. 

And before that special surprise, there is more in store for Ashton's birthday weekend. Buckland arranged for Ashton and his family to have VIP passes to Comicon at the TD Convention Center. 

"He refuses to just sit down, or lay down and just feel sorry for himself. He deserves a place in the car more than I do," Buckland said. 

"He makes me stronger," Shannon Bridges said. 

Batman and the "HopeMobile" will be at the SC Comicon on March 24th and 25th. 

The doors open at 10 a.m on Sat. until 6 p.m and then again on Sun. starting at 11 a.m to 6 p.m. 

This family-friendly event has something for all ages-from the top creators in comics and celebrity guests, to games, toys and collectibles, with plenty of contests and games for the kids. 

2018 ticket prices: 

Saturday: $20.00 

Sunday: $15.00

2-day: $30.00

VIP: $80.00 

The VIP tickets include: Special SC Comicon t-shirt, one or more exclusive SC Comicon variants, entrance to a special Friday night event, entrance 30 min. early on both days, priority seating at panels, and children ten and under may even get in free. 

For more info on the event look here: or follow the event on Facebook. 

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