Child with rare illness gets Batmobile casket for Christmas30 August, 2018
Child with rare illness gets Batmobile casket for Christmas
Andrew “Hollywood” Peck is getting a Batmobile for Christmas — but it’s the kind of gift no parent wants their child to receive. The 10-year-old Portsmouth, Ohio, boy has a rare genetic brain disorder and may not make it to the holiday. That’s where Trey Ganem comes in. The bearded and tattooed Dark Knight from […]
Andrew “Hollywood” Peck is getting a Batmobile for Christmas — but it’s the kind of gift no parent wants their child to receive.
The 10-year-old Portsmouth, Ohio, boy has a rare genetic brain disorder and may not make it to the holiday.
That’s where Trey Ganem comes in. The bearded and tattooed Dark Knight from Edna, Texas, crafts custom caskets and donates them to families touched by tragedy as a way of guiding them through the crushing sadness.
“It celebrates life and brings out the campfire stories,” Ganem said.
Andrew’s grandmother, Annette Peck, who has raised Andrew for most of his life, is well aware that some might think a Batmobile coffin is macabre.
“I can see how people would think that. When first approached, I had mixed emotions,” she said. “Then I thought, this is what Andrew would want. He would not want to be put in a box. He would want to go out in a Batmobile. He would want to go out in style. This is my going-away present.”
Selecting a funeral casket for a child is a gut-wrenching task, but Ganem’s Web site of custom coffins is colorful and lively.
“When I was younger, I was into art and making something out of it,” the 44-year-old casket-maker explains.
Ganem estimates he has donated some portion of his work to the families of 85 children in the past seven months.
To the family of 4-year-old Lilly Garcia, who was shot Oct. 20 in a road-rage incident in New Mexico, Ganem gave a casket painted blue and covered with rainbows and ponies.
“Trey is heaven-sent,” Lilly’s mom, Veronica Garcia, told The Post.
Andrew Peck was born with leukodystrophy, one of a group of disorders characterized by degeneration of white matter in the brain. The disease has stolen the boy’s ability to walk or even talk.
“Andrew was very active and he loves Batman and Captain America and all of them,” his grandmother said. “He was a typical 3-year old, and then he went from not being able to walk to being in a wheelchair.”
Last month, with Andrew’s health deteriorating, the family celebrated Christmas early with a visit by Batman. Ganem flew to Portsmouth to meet the boy and get to know him.
“We’re just trying to change the sadness.” Ganem, a father of two, says. “Nothing takes the pain away, but it gives the family a sense of peace and starts the healing process.”