Jacksonville girl surprised with wheelchair costume requested by her dad before he died

Six-year-old McKenna Recker, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, now has a new custom-made costume to wear when using her wheelchair.

It was a surprise from her father, a Navy Veteran who died in 2020.


The surprise wheelchair costume is keeping her dad’s memory alive because he requested it years ago before he passed away.

McKenna’s mom, Melissa, said her husband Jason reached out to the nonprofit, Walkin’ and Rollin’ back in 2019. Now almost four years later, McKenna was gifted the surprise.

“I always check his emails just to see,” Melissa said.

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Her custom-made wheelchair costume is pink and purple, and it’s Minnie Mouse-themed.

“When you lose a spouse suddenly, you kind of look for signs that they are still with you and they are watching out for you up above,” Melissa said.

McKenna’s wheelchair costume has some added touches of her dad.

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“‘My daddy is my hero’ and it has a Navy symbol,” said Melissa.

Melissa said this was the sign her family needed.

“It keeps his memory alive,” Melissa said.

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