Disabled Woodridge teen dresses as Blackhawks bench for Halloween

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- There's a new Blackhawk on Coach Q's roster this year--at least on Halloween. He's 14-year-old Luke Fanella in his latest costume: the Blackhawks bench.

"That's where the players have to hop the boards to get to their shift...Just to see where they go and what they're doing back there is pretty cool...I wanted to be that kid that got to sit on the bench during their warmups and give them all knuckles and high-fives," said Fanella of how he picked the costume.

Trick-or-treating in Naperville, Fanella will be a player himself, on the same line as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The gitup includes the glass, the boards and cheering fans in tow, including Luke's Uncle Jim DelGenio who built the outfit from scratch.

DelGenio did the same last year, crafting Fanella a Blackhawks Zamboni costume that earned the Woodridge teen a ride on the real thing at the United Center.

"My friends at school laugh at my pictures that are on Google. They're always watching my videos in class," said Fanella.

"When Luke asked me to help out with the costume last year, I was thrilled to be able to do that... To do it again this year was just awesome."

Beyond the homemade touch, these costumes are special because they are made to accommodate and incorporate Luke Fanella's wheel chair and scooter, which he needs to travel long distances because of a muscle disorder than makes walking difficult.

Fanella has a message for other kids facing similar challenges.

"Fulfill your dreams, try your best, try your hardest. If any kids try to bring you down, just don't listen to them. Live your life to the fullest, and don't let your disability bring you down," he said, adding, "When I'm out there trick-or-treating, I just forget about my disability in general and just act like a regular kid, like I'm just a regular kid out there for candy."

Ready for something sweet and for time on the ice.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.