The Great Escape

A hospital-bound boy wants to go to the movies, but the hospital says No!

The mission:

Get Zachary Marion, 11, out of Children's Mercy Hospital for a few hours on Friday.

The destination:

The AMC movie theater on Ward Parkway.

The goal:

Watch the hit computer animated movie “The Incredibles.”

Status:

Mission accomplished.

“We called this operation “The Great Escape,”  joked the leader of the Elves of Christmas Present, a local, anonymous group that helped organize the outing along with Children's Mercy, AMC Entertainment Inc. and Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust.

Last May Zachary was diagnosed with leukemia. He has been at Children's Mercy for 57 consecutive days. When the movie “The Incredibles” was released a few weeks ago, Zachary became an
instant fan.

On Monday his nurses decided to ring in Christmas a little early. One of them e-mailed representatives of AMC and told them about Zachary and his fascination with the movie. She also called the Elves of Christmas Present, who help grant the Christmas wishes of children who are very ill or families that have fallen on hard times.

“I contacted AMC, but they were already on board,” said a man identifying himself as Chief Elf. “I called MAST, and within 10 seconds they agreed to provide the transportation. The real heroes here are AMC, Children's and MAST.”

On Friday morning, Zachary and his parents enjoyed a private showing of “The Incredibles” at no charge.

The concession stand was also free. Zachary munched on seven bags of candy and guzzled four different drinks.

Zachary's father, Bill Marion, was overjoyed to see his son smile again.

“Today has given him a spark,” Marion said Friday afternoon. “It will help with the healing.”

By MALCOLM GARCIA, The Kansas City Star