Fort Myers park dedication honors families who have had to battle cancer

Posted at 8:32 AM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 08:32:37-04

Any parent's worst nightmare is their child battling cancer.  But a Fort Myers family got their chance to honor not only their son, but all other children in the community facing the disease. 

The opening of "Caleb's Superheroes Playground" will be a lasting tribute for the Whan family, as they hope neighborhood kids enjoy the park for years to come.

"We looked at other parks throughout the county, and we live here in the Villas, and this property has been sitting here, and I think this is really want the community wants and needs," said Caleb's father, Rob Wahn.

Caleb's Crusade making the park a reality after two years of planning. All those in the effort are heroes who couldn't let cancer have the final word.

Joseph Stephens lost his daughter to the disease.  "Both of us lost something precious. He [Rob] lost his son, I lost my daughter. We were both in treatment at the same time," said Stephens.

"He lost his son a year before my daughter passed and since then we have just formed a bond together," Stephens added.

Caleb's father, mother and sister released butterflies into the park, all of them wearing superhero gear. Superheroes like Spider-man helped Caleb and his family through their fight against leukemia.

"He likened all his treatment to fixing his 'spidey juice'. Whenever he would get a blood transfusion, he would check to see if they worked. He would literally make the noises and motions like Spider-Man does and you can see the angst in his face when it didn't work," said Wahn. "'When is it going to work dad'," he added.

Even the park's slide and swings matched Spider-man's colors of red and blue. Wahn reminisced that his son's favorite used to be the swings, although he wasn't to sure how much time his son would spend on the swings if his favorite super hero was there.

"Spider-man was here today, I'm sure he would be hanging out with Spider-man too," said Wahn.

Caleb's Superheroes Park isn't done yet! There are plans in place to add more to it. Including purchasing your own "legacy brick".