A superhero with a heart of gold travels across the country to cheer up sick kids
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man in the superhero suit is Yuri Williams.
Around his hometown of Los Angeles, he’s known for dressing up as Spider-Man and visiting homeless camps and children’s hospitals.
"They don't even call me by my real name anymore, it's just Spidey or Spider-Man," he said.
Inspired by his mother's cancer battle, Williams began a caped crusade several years ago when he was in a "dark tunnel" of grief.
It changed his outlook.
"I said there's something I need to do to get rid of this sadness that I have, so I decided to start helping people," he said.
Donning a Spider-Man suit or dressed as Dead Pool or another comic book character he surprises cancer patients and sick children. The costume is the secret weapon that puts them at ease.
"I just tell them to fight as hard as you can. Don't give up," he said. "They're dealing with so much pain and medication. They're sad every day. I just want to come in and uplift them for the couple of moments that I'm there."
Williams ministry also takes him to homeless camps to hand out food and clothing.
"If I happen to see a homeless person on the street I'm just like a magnet. I'm drawn to them," he said.
Last year he decided to go to every state. He has now been to 48 of them. This week he'll go to Alaska and come to Hawaii.
"I'm not asking for anything but just to uplift people, that's it," he said.
Williams is a youth corrections officer in Los Angeles where he works with troubled teens.
He’s aiming for the day when he can focus on his outreach full-time. He founded a non-profit called “A Superhero and Friends.”
"I don't know where I would be right now if it wasn't for Spider-Man," he said.
As a kid Williams loved comic book heroes. Now as an adult he’s become a hero in his own right.
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