Children's Health

Despite Illness, 'Electron Boy' Helps Others in Need

Fourteen-year-old Erik Martin of Seattle has every reason to be angry. 

We would understand if he felt sorry for himself and thought less about other people than his life-threatening cancer. But Erik is an inspiration to countless people around the world because despite the incredible odds he's facing, all he wants to do is help others in need.

Erik was born with only half of his heart working and with no spleen. He also had fetal alcohol syndrome, which has left him developmentally disabled. And if that's not enough, he developed a tumor on his spine. The tumor was removed, but the rare form of cancer came back spreading to his bones, several organs and lymph nodes.

His doctors say his condition is untreatable and incurable. Erik is now under hospice care.

The Make A Wish Foundation heard about Erik and asked him if he could have one wish granted what would it be. Without hesitation Erik said he wanted to be a super hero. And that's when the world's latest super hero was born, Electron Boy.

Since 1980 the Make A Wish Foundation has granted 200,000 wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Most kids either want to go to a theme park like Disneyland or meet a famous person. In 30 years Erik became just the third super hero behind "Beettle Boy" in Pittsburgh and "Star" in Boise, Idaho.

Eager to make his dream come true, Make A Wish Foundation choreographed an elaborate event in which Spider Man called on Electron Boy to help him save the world from the evil "Dr. Dark" and his partner-in-crime "Blackout Boy".

In one spectacular day, Electron Boy rescued the Seattle Sounders soccer team at Qwest Field, rode in a Delorean behind a police escort and saved a group of people stuck in an elevator at the Space Needle. When his heroics were over, he was cheered by hundreds of utility workers who wanted to be a part of the wish. In fact, Make-A-Wish Foundation officials told us the community response was overwhelming.

Since Electron Boy was in action his legend has grown. His story has been told as far away as Australia, he was honored with a resolution on the floor of the U.S. Congress, he has his own theme song and what every super hero must have, his own comic book. When the Seattle Times ran it's original story on Electron Boy, it was the top story for nine consecutive days receiving more than a half-million hits.

Erik's mother who adopted him when he was six says she's not surprised that her son would ask for such a selfless wish. Judy Martin tells Fox News that it has always been in his nature to try to cheer up people who are sad.

Erik's condition is worsening. He is too weak to go to school spending most of his days sleeping. But his dad tells us he still occasionally gets energized when he talks about Electron Boy, a true hero in more ways than one.

Dan Springer joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in August 2001 as a Seattle-based correspondent.