HAVERHILL, Mass. (WFXT/CNN) - A Massachusetts father pulled an idea from his family tree for this year’s epic custom Halloween costume for his son with cerebral palsy.
Fifteen-year-old Tommy Hardy doesn’t see a wheelchair when he’s in his custom-made attire.
Instead, he sees himself in the cockpit, piloting an iconic Air Force jet: the SR-71 Blackbird.
For the past month, Tommy’s dad and friends have put in nearly 100 hours, using parts from around the garage, to create the costume for about $75.
"I think it's a great family tradition we have," said Tom Hardy, Tommy's father.
Tommy is living with autism and is nonverbal, but his dad says he's your typical teenager who loves Halloween.
"To watch Tommy light up and, not only him light up trick or treating as a kid, but also seeing the other kids around him just being like 'oh, that's an awesome costume, bud,'” Hardy said.
“They're not looking at him like he's in a wheelchair, just seeing an awesome costume and a little kid going out, having some fun."
In the past, Tommy’s costumes have included an X-Wing Starfighter from Star Wars, a dragon from “Game of Thrones” and a police car.
But this year's costume has a special meaning for the family.
"We actually got a photo of the SR-71 cockpit,” Hardy said. “So, we cut that out, laminated then added my father and mother from their military days.”
Tommy's grandparents were in the Air Force and both passed away this year.
"My parents were huge supporters of what we did, doing this each year, so we wanted to give something back," Hardy said.
This is the fourth year the family has been able to pull off a special Halloween costume for Tommy.