Overland Park, KS — Every kid should have a chance to trick or treat on Halloween. That’s why one parent from the metro built a special costume for her son — turning his wheelchair into a very creative sight.
Wyandotte County stay-at-home mom Jillian Dempsey said she wanted a means of spreading Halloween joy to her son Logan, who lives with an advanced form of Spina Bifida. It took her about four hours to build a lifelike pirate ship around Logan’s wheelchair, allowing him to set sail for Halloween fun.
Logan bears the traditional pirate uniform, and the mobile portion of his unique costume transforms his wheelchair itself into an old world pirate vessel.
Jillian showed WDAF how a cardboard box and a frame of cheap wood pieces can be used to create an unforgettable costume.
On Halloween morning, the Dempseys went trick or treating with other special needs kids at the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center in Overland Park, where 23-month-old Logan receives therapy.
“I already had the costume. I bought it six months ago because I thought it was cute,” Jillian explained. “We just had to build whatever we chose around what he was.”
Dempsey recently uploaded a photo of her son trying on the costume to her Facebook page, where it’s been seen by over a thousand people.
Logan hasn’t celebrated his second birthday, and he’s already undergone five surgeries. His mother says it’s unlikely that he’ll ever walk on his own.
Amy Milroy manages the Britain Center. She says it’s not uncommon for parents of kids with special needs to build costumes that foster independence.
“We encourage parents to make a special costume for our kids who can’t talk,” Milroy said. “We have special buttons they push and it says ‘trick or treat’ or they use their iPad.”
“Everyone says he should win the costume contest or I get the best mom award,” Jillian said. “I don’t think that, but people are very impressed with it.”
Jillian said she plans to keep Logan’s voyage for candy close to home. He’ll wheel around his neighborhood, showing off his costume to friends and neighbors.
The Spina Bifida Association says over 160,000 Americans live with that birth defect, which varies in degrees of severity.