A 9-year-old who lost his battle with cancer recently had his life celebrated in a very special way on Thursday.
Instead of wearing suits and dresses, superheroes came out Thursday to help Zach Guillot's family remember his life and a special legacy he leaves behind.
Guillot was a little boy who touched the world with his courage. He died Feb. 8 after a four-year fight with acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease.
In his mind, he lived with superheroes. He wanted to be Batman, but he had many favorites. Among them, he would have counted his parents, Jeff and Julie.
"The superheroes were just a real source of strength for him," said Julie. "Maybe he saw in them that, though it wasn't likely he was going to survive, maybe some of that superhero strength…he could garner and beat the odd, and he almost did."
In the spirit of his superhero personality, people who came to a memorial and reception for him were asked to wear capes and costumes, and they did.
"People have seen something miraculous in that one little life can touch an entire world," said family friend Sally Rosengerg.
Guillot had three bone marrow transplants.
He died from complications during the last procedure.
"He really advanced the cause and the realization that there are ways to manage and ultimately cure AML," said Guillot's father, Jeff.
Guillot's parents say he would spend months at a time in the hospital, sometimes in isolation.
"He found ways to keep himself entertained," said Julie. "He loved to shoot the doctors with Nerf guns, loved to sword fight, work Legos…and somehow, in the midst of all that, he was able to keep a really positive attitude."
While in the hospital, Guillot got a call from Batman, a.k.a. Christian Bale, and of course, they compared Batman outfits.
"I got like the real mask," Guillot said to Bale during their chat.
"That sounds fantastic," said Bale. "You know, I had to give mine back. They didn't let me keep mine."
Thousands have registered to be bone marrow donors and given blood in honor of Guillot. Many at the memorial signed balloons as their tribute.
"We had not idea that Zach would inspire so many people," said Jeff. "We're glad some good can come out of this."
People walked outside with their balloons, and as they were led by Guillot's father in a song, they released them.