Toddler With Cerebral Palsy Rocks 'Up' Halloween Costume To Represent Inclusion

Brantley Morse
Akron Children's Hospital

This year, 2-year-old Brantley Morse of Canton, Ohio, is sporting a Halloween costume with a purpose. The toddler has several disabilities, including cerebral palsy, and recently attended a local fall festival dressed as Carl from Up for a few reasons. According to his mom, Brittany, the family chose the memorable outfit as a way to incorporate her son's medical equipment into the costume, instead of hiding it.

  • "Nothing will ever stop us from representing inclusion," Brittany tells CafeMom of her decision behind the costume.

    Morse says that despite her son's young life, his medical journey so far has been full of obstacles.

    "He spent nine months in the NICU after being born at 24 weeks," she says. "He has had 10 surgeries so far in his 2.5 years of life."

    Brantley also has a few chronic conditions that affect his quality of life, his mom shares -- including stage 3 kidney disease, gastroparesis, and chronic lung disease.

    "Although Brantley struggles with disabilities, he makes the best of every single day ... including Halloween," she adds. "We wanted to do something that would incorporate Brantley’s medical equipment, while spreading hope and positivity to anyone and everyone, especially those with special needs or disabilities."

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  • Morse says that she's a huge fan of the movie 'Up,' and knew that her son would make an adorable Carl.

    "Let’s be honest. Brantley looks like a little old man!" the mom jokes. 

    The family busted out the sweet costume for a round of "trunk-or-treating" at the fall festival last weekend, in what was Brantley's first time dressing up for the holiday. It certainly won't be his last, however.

    "He will be dressing up two times this weekend again for trick or treating as well!" his mom adds.

  • After Brittany snapped some sweet photos of her boy, she posted them on Facebook. But little did she know just how quickly they would take off.

    Since posting the photos on her personal Facebook page, they were also shared by the hospital that treats Brantley for his condition, Akron Children's Hospital. It was there that the images amassed over 1,600 reactions, as people from all over the country were touched by Brantley's infectious smile. 

    "It's honestly hard to put into words. It's been surreal the amount of attention Brantley's story is gaining," she tells CafeMom.

    "I can't tell you how many messages we've received from complete strangers opening up to us about how much OUR sweet boy's story meant to them," she continues. "Sometimes people tell us it just made their whole day, sometimes people tell us it restored their faith in miracles, and sometimes people explain that they can relate ... which was what we hoped it would do!"

  • All this mama really wanted to do was show people that kids with chronic medical conditions deserve to be seen.

    Morse says she's most proud that her son is showing people an image of Halloween they might not normally see. 

    "Just because you’re a little different doesn’t mean you can’t participate!" his mom explains. "We are beyond blessed to be able to share this little fighter's story, and help others along the way. Although he struggles, he always is able to put a smile on his face and others!!"

    A GoFundMe account has been created for Brantley to cover his medical expenses.