RS&H builds custom costume for Team Hayden
RS&H with Hayden

RS&H builds unique Halloween costume for local family

By: Brandon Pourch, RS&H

A few weeks ago, I saw a video online about a father who created Halloween costumes for his children in wheelchairs www.magicwheelchair.org

I had just finished spending around 10 hours creating my own Halloween costume this year and thought “why not do something similar for a child with special needs here in Jacksonville?”

With Halloween quickly approaching I wasn’t sure there would be enough time but I decided to go ahead and contact my friend Tyler who works at the Independent Living Resource Center. He was just as enthusiastic as me about the project and set up a meeting with Toni Chadwell. Toni’s son Hayden had a stroke as a baby and developed severe seizure disorder, cortical vision impairment, stroke/thrombosis, with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. He is now five years old and is an absolute joy to be around!

https://teamhaydenjax.wordpress.com/about/

He loves singing and playing his keyboard. He also enjoys sensory objects such as beads. We decided to combine those ideas and create a Mardi Gras float with a pipe organ. (Here is a photo from the Jacksonville Times Union newspaper. For this event, his family was dressed as Cubs fans so the photographer mistakenly thought it was the Wrigley Field organ and not a Mardi Gras float, but no big deal)

http://jacksonville.com/slideshow/2015-10-17/halloween-doors-and-more-party-children-serious-health-issues#slide-6

That first meeting was October 7th and I let John Bottaro know what I was doing later that afternoon. He said RS&H was willing to support in any way it could. That day was also our monthly birthday celebration so I made an announcement about the project and asked for volunteers to help build or donate Mardi Gras beads and paraphernalia. That next day at lunch we got to work designing the float.

On Friday afternoon, Hayden and his family came to our office to receive the costume. Most of the Jacksonville corporate group came down to meet him. It was a very touching moment for everyone involved. His family was very appreciative of our efforts.

I really enjoyed the entire experience and we plan on expanding our efforts next year!

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Many thanks to Brandon Pourch and the entire RS&H team for making this memorable moment for Hayden and his family.

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