Trunk or Treat event helps kids with special needs celebrate Halloween

Posted at 10:07 PM, Oct 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-23 09:12:32-04

DRAPER, Utah -- From the outside looking in, it had all the makings of Halloween: the candy, costumes and decorations.

But, for the kids, Thursday night in Draper was a glimpse into something they usually don’t get to enjoy.

“Happy Halloween,” yelled 7-year-old Adrian Paz.

Born with Spina Bifida, Paz is used to getting around by wheelchair and crutches. It’s made the idea of trick or treating seem difficult in the past, although, you would never guess when talking to him.

“It doesn’t seem to phase him. I think it affects me and his Dad more,” said his mother, Chelsey Paz.

This year, Paz chose to dress up as a skeleton. But rather than struggle to collect candy in his neighborhood, he’s instead wheeling around a parking lot outside All Star Bowling. It’s the location of a special Trunk or Treat just for the Paz family and others.

“She knows what's going on, and knowing that she feels apart of it is everything,” said Katrina Bleyl, whose daughter was born with brain damage.

They were all invited by the non-profit group, Children and the Earth. The group works with families through Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. While they typically coordinate seasonal events for the kids, this was their first to incorporate the traditional trick or treating.

“This is actually his first Halloween in three years that he gets to trick or treat because he's been either fractured or recovering from a fracture,” said Dolores Rodriguez, who came with her son.

Malakai Rodriguez, 7, has a disease that causes brittle bones in the body. Normally, his mother would have him at home in costume, handing out candy. But Thursday, he was in costume alongside everyone else.

“You can't be more grateful for him to be able to experience what other kids experience,” Paz said.