SEATTLE - For 17-year-old Danielle Tang, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, dressing up for Halloween is a chance to combat the challenges of spending her life in a wheelchair.
"They don't mean to be mean all the time but people stare," said Danielle's older brother, Brian Tang.
"They just don't know how to react to the disability," his wife Kaila added.
"But when you have a costume on, it just kind of gives you a whole new opportunity to be someone special," said Brian.
On Sunday, October 9, Danielle was one of two Seattle-area kids who received a Halloween costume made by Magic Wheelchair, a non-profit organization that builds custom costumes for kids in wheelchairs.
"It's really cool to have this event and to be a part of it and to see Danielle shine and be the center of it," said Brian. "She deserves it."
"I see the family members of the kids, and I see the kids and how happy they are, and I see other people from the community who have come to this and their kids are just so excited and it just makes my heart really warm," said Jamie Von Stratton, a Magic Wheelchair builder and board member.
Von Stratton says designing and building the costumes each year is truly a labor of love.
"Even though it takes months to prepare, sometimes we don't get much sleep the night before," she said. "There's all this little prep stuff you have to do. It's definitely a big project but it's so fun and it's so worth it."
Danielle's build team created a magical "Under the Sea" themed costume, complete with LED lit jellyfish, coral reefs and a bubble machine. Danielle was all smiles once she saw her costume for the first time.
"Thank you very, very much!" said Danielle, through an electronic device she uses to communicate. "I feel blessings having this," she added with a large smile.
The other recipient was Jackie Bitzer. She received a Mickey Mouse themed train car costume, and her build team also created matching train car costumes for her whole family.
Magic Wheelchair started in the Portland area, and now helps kids all over the country. The organization is always looking for volunteers to bring build projects to new cities. Or, if you are interested in making a donation, you can do so here. All donations go toward materials to build the custom costumes.