Man raising money to buy Halloween costumes for kids fighting cancer

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Man raising money to buy costumes for kids fighting cancer
A man who goes all out for Halloween every year is going all out to make sure even the children at MD Anderson get to experience his favorite holiday.

HOUSTON -- There's nothing like Halloween for Gage Mueller.

"Halloween for me has always been go big or go home," Mueller said.

The roof to the lawn of his Meyerland area home is covered in black and orange, inflatable characters and cobwebs. He says as he points to the rooftop, "It's the Stay Puft marshmallow man. Everybody says it's the Pillsbury dough boy or the Michelin man, but that one gets a lot of comments."

The husband and father of two is not shy about the holiday he says he has loved since childhood. He now shares it with his neighbors and his entire family.

"I send a letter out to the neighbors every year and say sorry you live with crazy. We block the street off," says Mueller.

Now he's taking his love for Halloween to kids who have had some of those childhood memories interrupted by treatments and days in hospital beds.

"They just give us hope," says Kaylee Curew.

The 16-year-old is a patient at MD Anderson. She spent last Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital. She shows off some of the mini-pumpkins she's decorated from her hospital bed and is thinking about her costume this year.

"Maybe I'll go as one of my doctors? Doctor Sloan?" adds Curew.

Mueller started a GoFundMe page to raise money to take costumes to kids at the hospital for the fall festival and parade.

"Every kid should be able to celebrate Halloween, it doesn't matter if you're in the hospital or at home. It's not just the kids in the hospital but their families," says Mueller.

MD Anderson Program Manager Lauren Shinn the program brings much joy.

"Without the support and generosity they give us we wouldn't be able to create these over-the-top experiences to make patients and families feel special," Shinn said.

While Kaylee is still deciding who or what she will go as this year, she says she has outgrown dressing up as a princess and laughs about her message to Mueller.

"That's awesome, but I do have some advice for him. Make sure he gets some outfits for older kids too,"she said.

For more information on the MD Anderson Costume Campaign, visit the GoFundMe page.