BEAVERTON, Ore. — For people with dwarfism, the world can be a complicated place, with most things made for average-height people.
But one Beaverton School District lunch worker saw a need and decided to help make life less complicated for a boy named Julian Worsham.
Julian is just like any other 6-year-old. He likes Super Mario, doing Taekwondo and hanging out with his brother, Cade.
But one aspect of Julian is different than other kids his age.
“Julian has achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism,” said Heather Worsham, Julian’s mother.
“I’m a little person,” explained Julian. “My bones grow slower.”
“He's born into a world that just, in some ways, is not built for him,” said Julian’s father, Brett.
Julian is in first grade, so at this point in his life, his world mainly consists of school.
“I knew that there was a lot of accommodations that would be needed for school. So I had a lot prepared, but I did not think about the cafeteria,” said Heather.
During the first week of school at Bethany Elementary, Enedelia Mottram, who has helped serve lunch in the district for 18 years, noticed Julian’s cart.
“When I saw it I thought, ‘Wow,” said Enedelia.
She described Julian’s cart as being held together by duct tape and mainly consisted of an upside-down milk crate on wheels.
“I just wanted to help Julian, because I mean his head barely reaches the lunch line. He can't see anything,” Enedelia said.
That night Enedelia decided to talk to her husband James, a custom metal builder, to see what he could do. After she told James about Julian, before she could even ask, James told her he wanted to help.
“I thought we could do so much more for him, you know. I wanted to make something cool that he would be happy to push around and be proud of,” James said.
So, despite never having done a project quite like this one, James and his team of metal builders at Wright Manufacturing in Portland, got to work. They used their free time to help Julian.
“It was heartwarming to do it for him and everybody at work felt the same way,” said James.
During the process, Enedelia said she was told the school was going to be able to get another cart for Julian. But James and his team thought they could give Julian a better, more personalized cart. After a couple of weeks they finished their project.
“I made it adjustable. I made it with handlebar grips like a motorcycle. I just, I made it custom for him,” said James.
It even came complete with flames on the side, personalized license plates, and a matching stool that Julian can use to see what food he wants at the lunch counter.
“He's independent now,” said Enedelia. “Before, a staff member [would] have to be there to help him,” she said.
Julian’s parents said they’re blown away and didn’t realize the custom cart would be so amazing.
“They took the time to get those license plates with his name, which is just like, they just really put a lot of heart into it. So when I saw it, the first thing I saw was actually a picture of James and his team who made the cart and I cried. It’s just such a sweet thing,” Heather said.
Julian is a big fan too. He loves the flames and the customized license plates.
“The incredible amount of kindness that's been directed our way you know, especially for my boy Julian here, this has been amazing,” said Brett.
She hopes the story inspires people to help others when they notice someone in need.
“There's just wonderful people in this world that, you know, they have their eyes open. They're seeing needs that need to be met and they're meeting them. So I hope that other kids can get their needs met to through this,” she said.
While the act of kindness floored Julian’s parents, they said this isn’t the first time someone has done something kind for Julian.
Heather said Julian needs a platform to rest his feet while he’s sitting at a desk, otherwise, if his legs dangle and will fall asleep. Two days before school started, they realized Julian’s desk chair attachment wouldn’t work.
“His teacher went home, talked to her brother-in-law and he made something for his chair.”
“I just feel just so grateful,” Heather said.