Spiderman visits North Dakota amid cross-country tour

Published: Oct. 31, 2018 at 11:48 AM CDT
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You might have seen Spiderman himself passing through the Peace Garden State this past week.

A California man has taken it upon himself to visit people across the country, dressed as the superhero.

Spiderman has made appearances at hospitals and homes across this country over the past 40 days.

Yuri Williams is the man behind the mask, a peace officer from Los Angeles, Calif. Yuri traveled to all of the lower 48 states, surprising children battling life-threatening illnesses, visiting veterans, and comforting the homeless—and he's done it all for free.

“I'm helping other people feel good, and I'm feeling good as well,” he said.

Many of the young people Yuri has visited with are battling cancer, a disease that, like many across this country, hits close to home for Yuri.

“I began this journey when I lost my mother to cancer in '09. I was in a dark place, and I had to find something to get me out of it. For some strange reason, I always liked Spiderman, and I came up with the idea to visit ill children in the hospital,” he said.

This is no easy task for one man, but Yuri's had some help. You may know his travel companion, Rodney Smith, Jr., who travels the country mowing lawns for the elderly, the disabled, veterans, and single moms. The two met on the road and forged a bond with their kindred missions.

“It means a lot. It's two regular people coming together and trying to make a difference, in different areas. I'm doing it with the lawns, he's doing it with the kids,” said Smith.

Even with Rodney at his side, there's one other person always with Yuri—his mom Lynda.

“Yeah. And it actually does, and I thank God that I'm actually able to wear a mask because the people can't see my tears. It just brings back memories of my mom, but I know that she's looking down on me and I just want to spread the love to everyone else. That's how she taught me,” said Williams, when asked if what he does makes him think of his mom.

While he may not be scaling tall buildings and spinning a web, this modern day superhero is making a difference in the lives of many across the country.

“Just showing the people in the world that we need to learn to love each other like we used to,” said Williams.

We want to thank Yuri and Rodney for speaking with KMOT.

While in North Dakota, Yuri and Rodney visited people in Fargo.

Yuri is still planning to visit Alaska and Hawaii.

You can follow his journey on Instagram with the handle "A Future Superhero."