Children With Special Needs Get Wishes Granted By Police Officers
"My youngest son has special needs, so it is a cause that is dear to my heart. When Halloween was approaching, I came up with the idea to reach out to the community and see if there were any special needs children that wanted to be in their costumes and live out their dreams. I had over 100 families reach out to me and I was shocked at how many parents told me that photographers often don't shoot special needs children. I had 3 boys that all wanted to be cops, so this was a dream I felt I could create in real life. Zane (13) is a nonverbal boy with down syndrome. Elliott (7) has Bilateral Club foot, a coloboma in the left eye and 4 dead spots in his brain. 2 spots caused nerve damage and the other 2 spots brain damage. He just got diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in his legs. Owen (11) has Angelman syndrome, also known sometimes as happy puppet syndrome.
I reached out to the Rapid City Police Department, told them about these boys and asked if we could have pictures done with the department. They went beyond what I hoped for… They blocked off an entire road, brought four squad cars, and let these kids live their dreams! The kids were able to sit in the front seats, wear the officer jackets and get pictures with all of the cops. Their faces just lit up and it was so amazing to watch dreams come to life in front of you. Out of all of this, I hope photographers open their minds to photographing special needs kids more and to not fear them. I hope people realize that every kid deserves to have their dreams come true. I wanted these officers to be recognized for what they did for these kids. For these kids, it meant everything. I am so extremely thankful to work with these kids and to the Rapid City Police Department for making their dreams come true. It's not hard to make a difference, just go for it!"
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