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Dad makes princess carriage for special needs daughter

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Custom costumes take on a whole new meaning this year. A South Valley father spent weeks making sure his special needs daughter was a one-of-a-kind princess.

Among all the witches, werewolves and ghosts, nothing stood out quite like Rylee and her princess carriage.

Just about everyone along Adrian Way in Hanford ran up to snap pictures, say hi and give candy to 17-year-old Rylee, whose elaborate costume didn't allow easy access up walkways.

So ,she cruised along in true princess fashion pushed by her Halloween hero, her dad Jamie Solis. "Seeing her excitement, it made me feel really good," he said.

Solis made the carriage by hand, a way to help Rylee celebrate her favorite day. Cerebral Palsy keeps the teenager from speaking and walking on her own.

"I didn't want to hide her wheelchair," Solis said. "I didn't want to take away from the fact that she is in a wheelchair. That's her life and that's who she is."

A viral video of a little boy's costume designed around his wheelchair, and built by his father to look like a moving ice cream truck, inspired Solis when he saw it online in August.

"I knew right then that I had to build her something," Solis said. "The inspiration I got from it was unbelievable. I'm hoping somebody can get that kind of feel and inspiration from this."

The carriage is built with a furniture dolly as its base. Solis spent all of his free time cutting and shaping PVC pipe, fitting and painting old wheelchair tires and carefully placing Rylee's old wheelchair at the center of the carriage.

His friends helped paint it and cover the carriage in 12 strands of battery-powered lights. Rylee, of course, was the center of attention, making the night special for her and the other kids in the neighborhood.

"They kept saying there's a princess in the carriage, there's a princess in the carriage," said neighbor Andrea Morgan. "So it was like they're at Disneyland, but in the neighborhood."

The next step for the Halloween treat is making a few adjustments and then entering it in the holiday parade in Hanford.

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Tags:
hanford, kings county, halloween, good news, local, rick montanez
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