Josh Aryeh; The Business Executive Who Dresses In a Batman Costume For Children With Cancer
Josh is a very successful 34-year-old guy. A CEO who runs a business, becoming a millionaire at a young age. In his free time, perhaps very different from all his peers, he wears the Batman costume to visit kids with cancer. This interview reveals his feelings towards his altruistic acts of making happy children who are facing a battle with life. For him, the most important thing is the smile on their face.
A CEO and founder in real estate at 34, that also dresses up as Batman for charity, how did these two different worlds come about?
Growing up I discovered that I had a taste and passion for exotic cars, despite not being able to afford them. Perhaps because when I was younger I was bullied, since I grew up in a wealthy area but was not from a moneyed family. My desire to own these exotic cars was to prove to the people who tormented me that I could have more money than their families ever did. However, one day I had an idea to use the fascinating cars that I was borrowing from people to surprise a kid who was battling stage four cancer. Her dream was to ride a Lamborghini, so I surprised her outside her house with the car and this was the moment that changed the rest of my life.
A little girl in a wheelchair came out of the home with an extremely sad expression on her face. She looked up and saw a bright yellow convertible Lamborghini in front of her home and her entire face lit up with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen! I gave the child a ride and afterwards they put her back in the wheelchair and brought her into the house. As soon as she got inside the home her mother started crying. At first, I thought I had done something wrong. After a few minutes, the mum told me that this was the first time in four years that she had seen her daughter smile, since she was diagnosed with cancer. At that moment, I knew I wanted to dedicate my time to volunteering to do this for many other children.
Since then, I’ve been privileged to visit over 25,000 children. I needed to figure out a way to make money while fulfilling my genuine passion to spend this much time volunteering. I started my own real estate company and some side ventures to enable me to earn money while I was out in hospitals, outpatient centers, or visiting the patients at their houses in between their treatments. When I go to work it is a completely unique type of atmosphere, than when I am dressed as Batman and visiting kids or adults during their final moments.
At times, it can feel like I am living in two distinct realities, but it is something that I have to do, since seeing the children is volunteer-based. To see some heroic youths or to refer a child in need, please message us on our Instagram account, which is Batman Real Account or via our website which is SmilesThroughCars.com.
How do you feel under a Batman suit?
At first, when I started dressing up as Batman, I thought the children knew I was just a regular person with a kind heart that was coming to visit them in a costume. However, upon my initial visit while dressed as Batman, I asked a five-year-old child what his name was, and he replied Chris. I then asked the kid if he knew what my name was. I was about to tell him it was Josh, however before I had a chance to answer, the child looked at me and said,“Yes you are Batman!”.
At that moment, I realized I was doing even more than what I had originally imagined. The kid was not just meeting some random kind-hearted person; he was having his dream fulfilled to meet Batman. In the beginning it was a change to getting used to walking around with a costume for the majority of the week. However, now my friends and family ask me why I’m not wearing it on certain days!
What does doing this voluntary charity work mean to you?
Being able to volunteer and to make people happy is worth more to me than all the money in the world. It is a feeling that cannot be described with words. There were countless occasions when I was called to visit a child for their final wish, because unfortunately the cancer had spread throughout their body, and they were now going to be discharged to receive hospice care. Thankfully, despite the fact that these children who had limited amounts of time left to live, often ended up becoming cancer free.
You make a lot of children happy, but how was your childhood?
My childhood was filled with lots of love and care. Thankfully, I had two parents and a few older siblings that cared a lot about me. I had one younger sibling that unfortunately got sick and passed away within a short period of time. I know what it is like to be in a hospital praying and begging for a loved one to hopefully feel better. Hoping for a miracle. Thankfully, my family is close, so I had proper support while I was going through the most horrible period of my life.
Unfortunately, there are loads of people that do not have that same support system and that is why I am so passionate about being Batman. I became an encouragement system that I would have needed if I was not lucky enough to have such a wonderful family. Kindness is free, it’s something that everyone can afford to give!
With your busy life, do you find any free time, and how do you spend it?
Between work and volunteering, I don’t have lots of free time. I enjoy devoting so much time volunteering and knowing that I am making a difference. It started off as just myself, but now I have hundreds of volunteers through my non profit organization, that enable me to do more than I could have ever dreamed of.
It is a team effort and I would not be as successful without being surrounded by so many loving, caring, and kind hearted individuals. When I have spare time I love spending it with the family and friends. I love being outdoors and observing the beautiful world and creations that are all around us. I especially enjoy nature, the ocean, and looking at wildlife, I find it fascinating.
There are many younger people that dream to be CEO. Do you have any recommendations on how they can fulfill this dream?
For young people that have ambitions or dreams to become a CEO, my recommendation is that they set short-term and long-term goals to aid them achieve it. Every time I set short-term goals for that specific day, for that week, for that month, for that quarter, for that six months, for the year, for five years and for 10 years. They need to understand that when you look at someone who has achieved the goals that they are aspiring to have; the road was difficult. There are many bumps and unexpected turns during the journey, but we need to learn to embrace these unforeseen situations, because it is our mistakes and failures and errors that help and guide us to become fruitful.
When I started off trying to broker a real estate deal or to raise money to syndicate real estate transactions, it took a very long time before I closed my original deal. Sometimes my first paycheck was earned in September! Lots of individuals would have lost faith by then. However, I kept saying that I am now one step closer to achieving my goal, and I’m going to continue to learn from the mistakes that I’ve made over the last nine months, that did not allow me to close the deal well. It is essential for the youth to learn that success looks like it’s a lot of fun but it’s the journey while trying to become successful that is the most enjoyable.