Mom Dresses Up Son's Wheelchair with Clever Halloween Costumes

Cassie McLelland Dresses Up Son Caleb's Wheelchair for Halloween
Caleb and Cassie McLelland
Glenn McLelland

updated 10/16/2014 AT 03:30 PM EDT

originally published 10/16/2014 AT 03:00 PM EDT

Halloween may be the event most strongly associated with October, but for Cassie and Glenn McLelland's son Caleb, the month has another kind of resonance: It's National Spina Bifida Awareness Month.

Cassie McLelland was 18 weeks pregnant when she learned Caleb would be born with spina bifida. But, as she told the Huffington Post, "If I had just known how amazing Caleb would be, I wouldn't have been so scared. That's the message I would want to share with anyone facing this same situation."

Mom Dresses Up Son's Wheelchair with Clever Halloween Costumes| Good Deeds, Around the Web, Real People Stories

Caleb McLelland

Cassie McLelland

McLelland started dressing up Caleb's wheelchair for Halloween when he was 3, and as he's gotten older, they've started collaborating on costumes.

Mom Dresses Up Son's Wheelchair with Clever Halloween Costumes| Good Deeds, Around the Web, Real People Stories

Caleb McLelland

Cassie McLelland

"I know they look elaborate but, honestly, my only tools are a hot glue gun and some cardboard," McLelland said. "Anyone can do it and many do. I see more and more wheelchair costumes every single year."



Mom Dresses Up Son's Wheelchair with Clever Halloween Costumes| Good Deeds, Around the Web, Real People Stories

Caleb McLelland

Cassie McLelland

Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the U.S. It occurs when a baby's spinal column doesn't close up properly while in the womb. Although about eight babies are born in the U.S. each day with SB, it remains a relatively unknown disease.

Mom Dresses Up Son's Wheelchair with Clever Halloween Costumes| Good Deeds, Around the Web, Real People Stories

Caleb McLelland

Cassie McLelland

"I think people assume that our lives are somehow abnormal compared to everyone else," McLelland said. "I think people assume that our lives revolve around Caleb and spina bifida, that SB consumes our lives. It doesn't. Spina bifida is part of our life, but it isn't our life."

"I want people to see Caleb, not just the wheelchair or the leg braces, but Caleb … He is active, smart, funny and terribly handsome," she continued. "I want people to know that Caleb is so much more than his diagnosis. I want people to see that a wheelchair is not something that he is 'bound' to or 'confined' to, it's his freedom. Mobility is a beautiful thing. That boy is living life and I'm just along for the ride. And it's been a pretty good ride so far."

You can make a donation to the Spina Bifida Association here.

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

sign me up

Thank you for signing up!

blog comments powered by Disqus

From Our Partners