You never know how the Internet can inspire people to help.
Bryce Schottel, of Smithton, Ill., has cancer. The 7-year-old also has a thing about Superman. As the community has rallied around the young man, it, too, has adopted a Superman theme, replacing the “S” with a “B”.
Damon Cole, a Dallas Police Department corporal, also has a thing about Superman. His Dodge charger is wrapped in a Superman theme. He speaks to young people — as Superman — in the Dallas area.
The two didn’t know each other, separated as they are by time and distance, but Cole said he was touched by the stories he read online about Superman the younger.
So, on his own dime, he drove 11 hours to Illinois, the Dallas Morning News reports today.
When he got to Illinois, Cole knocked on the Schottels’ door in a full Superman costume and greeted Bryce, who was diagnosed with lymphoma Feb. 28 and has been receiving chemotherapy treatments. Cole showed Bryce his car. He gave him his spare Superman cape, an action figure and a keychain.
“All Bryce kept saying was ‘Wow,’” Brian Schottel said.
Dad said he was in awe, too.
“We realized how far this guy came up just to see him and make him feel better and brighten his day,” Schottel said.
One of Schottel’s favorite parts was when Cole told the boy, “No no no, you’re the real Superman. We’re just people in costumes.’”
Bryce’s parents expected Cole’s visit to go by faster than a speeding bullet, but Cole ended up staying for hours. The two played a racing video game; Bryce defeated Superman. They also played with Matchbox cars.
Eventually, Cole told Bryce that he had a secret: He was also Iron Man.
“His eyes lit up,” Cole said.
The officer disappeared and changed into an Iron Man suit for Bryce. The two bonded before Cole went to a fundraiser for Bryce. Cole also dressed up as Iron Man for Bryce’s elementary school.
Then the cop got in his car and drove back to Dallas.