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Aviation students design & build custom halloween costume for boy with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

The students spent the past 2 weeks designing and building the custom police cruiser to fit over the 5-year-old's wheelchair
Posted at 4:00 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 16:00:02-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A class of students at the West Michigan Aviation Academy spent the last several weeks designing and building a custom Halloween costume for a young boy who uses a wheelchair to get around.

When Kingston Wilson turned 5 this summer, several Kent County Sheriff's Deputies stopped by his house to wish him a happy birthday. Kingston has always liked police officers, his mom says.

On Friday morning he got quite the Halloween surprise when he was presented with a fully customized police cruiser costume that fit perfectly over his wheelchair.

“Kingston is in his bike, or his wheelchair, he calls it a bike. Because he has something called SMA, Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It affects the motor neurons in your spinal cord,” his mom Savannah Nanninga-Jensen said Friday.

The costume was designed and built by a group of Mr Andrew Abissi's CAD (Computer Aided Design) students over the past few weeks.

“My wife actually had the brilliant idea to do this costume for Kingston," Mr Abissi told FOX 17 Friday.

"I used to always do Transformers costumes for myself and she gave me the idea to, why not make a costume for someone who would really appreciate, love it.”

And so he reached out to Kingston's mom to ask what the 5-year-old wanted to be for Halloween this year.

"We finally decided he wanted to be a police officer, so we texted Andrew and this was, gosh less than 2 weeks ago," Savannah said.

"I told him he wants to be a police officer and he was like, well, we’ll start making a police patrol car."

So Mr Abissi brought the project to his class and they got to work.

“So with the project, we had it split up into 4 categories. We had attachments, design, design structure and then electronics,” 10th grader Jordon Nederveld said.

“It was a lot more difficult than we thought because his wheelchair is obviously very different from normal wheelchairs, so we had to work around the wheelchair and find ways to attach it without obstructing anything.”

Many of the students spent time outside of school working to finish up the costume in time for Friday's unveiling.

“I ended up staying about probably, honestly, like 12 hours after school, helping finish it up in time, because we weren’t quite there yet,” 12th grader Brady Noles said.

“It was completely worth seeing their face though, he looked so happy.”

So when Kingston and his sister Everly head out for tricks and treats this year, they will be rolling in ultimate style.

You can find out more about the West Michigan Aviation Academy at their website.