Five-year-old Aiden Hernandez may be the talk of Halloween in New York’s north country. Employees at Lowe’s Potsdam store in converted his wheelchair to a bulldozer.
Aiden has cerebral palsy and had surgery earlier this summer to reconstruct his pelvis and hips. He was in a body cast for two months and didn’t get to participate in summer activities like other children, such as going to the pool. His mom Jennifer Hernandez wanted to make his next holiday extra special.
Hernandez and Aiden, who shop regularly at Lowe’s, were in the store looking for ideas for a Halloween costume. Employees began brainstorming. Within a couple of days, they created something magical.
“Aiden was ecstatic, he internalizes a lot of things,” Hernandez said. “When you see smiles on him they’re genuine smiles.”
After Aiden’s costume was mounted, he took a ride around the store for some early trick or treating. Associates gave him candy, but what he returned to them was even greater.
“The smiles he put on my customers’ faces and employees’ faces were amazing,” said store manager Cassius Baker, a father of four. “Our employees were grateful to do this. We appreciate the fact that Aiden’s mother brought him into the store.”
There’s no doubt Aiden will have one of the top costumes in his neighborhood. He’ll ride around the block before heading to his community’s annual Halloween party.
“Being able to offer Aiden Halloween in a typical way and have kids admire his costume touches my heart,” Hernandez said. “He’s accepted. He will have that acceptance for a day. It’s going to help kids in the future remember ‘he’s just like me.’”