Halloween can be a joyous time of year for so many children and teens. While it can be stressful finding a costume, the end result can make it all worth it.
For one Virginia girl, some VCU students decided to remove the stress from her difficult costume.
Alex Hayes is 16 years old but has trouble finding a costume that fits easily. Due to a rare chromosomal mutation, she is wheelchair bound so finding a costume is no easy task.
A group of present and former students from Virginia Commonwealth University Schools of Medicine and Dentistry made sure that Alex could celebrate like everyone else.
The group of students spent over 200 hundred hours across eight weeks putting together a costume for Alex. When they first met with her in August, the squad tried to gauge what Alex was into so they could customize appropriately.
After chatting with Alex and her family, the found out that she loved farm animals. That little bit of inspiration was all that they needed.
The students rented a storage unit and set up their costume building operations. The began building a barn costumer for her that could fit over the top of Alex and her wheelchair.
The costume is seven feet tall and five feet wide and includes bales of hay and a sign that reads “Alex’s Barn.”
Alex debuted the finished costume at a costume party with all of her friends, family, and even her dog dressed as barn animals. Alex’s grandfather dressed up as Old McDonald and pushed her around the party.
The VCU students have made costumes like Alex’s before, working with a non-profit organization called Magic Wheelchairs that builds Halloween costumes for wheelchair-bound children.
One of the VCU students said, “This is becoming a tradition that I hope VCU will continue. Because little girls like Chloe (another costume recipient) and Alex will never forget the impact that Magic Wheelchair and the volunteers made when they dressed up as their favorite things and had the time of their lives.”