Bulldozer costume for wheelchair-bound boy a hit in Parishville and Potsdam
Lowe’s employees who joined in creating the bulldozer Halloween costume for Aiden were Ian Pearl, Jasmine Relling, Sebastian Grimm, Zach Eng, Scott Shipman, Cassius Baker, Fred Kellison, Heather Reed, Maeghan Wallace, and Becky Moulton.
By MATT LINDSEY
PARISHVILLE – A Parishville boy who is in a wheelchair has quite a unique costume this year for Halloween.Aiden Hernandez, 5, has cerebral palsy but still wants to enjoy trick-or-treating like boys and girls his age. Being in a wheelchair can make costumes a little more troublesome, but thanks to employees at Lowe’s in Potsdam, Aiden will be joining other trick-or-treaters in his new bulldozer costume.
“Being a single mom or any mom with a restricted child comes with challenges that many do not see,” Jennifer Hernandez said. “The smallest gesture can sometimes be the biggest blessing that day.”
Hernandez went to Lowe’s in the hopes of creating a costume for her son that would involve his wheelchair.
“I walked into Lowe's looking for parts for a much simpler costume, and one by one employees approached tossing ideas out -- then coming together collectively led by Jasmine they approached their manager to see if they could create something for Aiden,” she said. – “It was a whirlwind and in minutes they were off, wheels turning.”
The employees created the costume in two and a half days. She said the finished product was “100 times better” than the picture she presented to them as inspiration. It is made of cardboard, PVC pipe, and netting.
“We have a ways to go with accessibility in this region, so it's not so easy just getting any old costume to work,” she said.
Hernandez said the employees were thanking her for the opportunity to make the costume for her son.
“They became super heroes – I say this because I don't know if they saw the bigger picture in that first moment, they just were doing what they felt was right,” she said.
Aiden completed a 13-hour surgery in June to reconstruct his pelvis and hips and was in a body cast for two months.
“We had planned for Disney as a reward for getting through and for his fifth birthday, but because of unforeseen obstacles we had to put that on hold. So I honestly just wanted to make something so he could participate and not miss out on this as well,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez recently moved back to St. Lawrence County after having lived in a city for many years and said this was one reason she chose to do so.
“Good thing is we are far from lacking in neighborly support -- and having these employees approach with excitement and volunteer their time was a blessing,” she said. “What they gave was the feeling of acceptance, if only for a few moments, the feeling that he's not restricted and other children want to be him for a change. What started as small acts of kindness, collectively brought a big result.”
Hernandez wished to express a “huge thank you” to the Potsdam Lowes crew for being Halloween super heroes to her son.