Home Depot Employees Build a Walker for 2-Year-Old Boy With Norrie Disease

Silus Johnson has Norrie disease, a rare disorder that caused the 2-year-old to develop partial blindness and low muscle tone, making walking difficult. Store-bought walkers don’t fit his frame, so his grandfather went to Home Depot to build one from scratch.

the three employees at home depot who helped build the walker
The Home Depot team who designed and built the walker. Credit: Fox 4 News


What Johnson’s grandfather didn’t know was the act of kindness waiting in store. According to Fox News, the store’s assistant manager quickly brought in Eric Bindel, the tool rental supervisor, and father of a 2-year-old. Bindel was touched. After asking for Johnson’s dimensions, he told the grandfather, “We’ll take it from here and build it for you for free.”

Chris Wright, the tool tech and mastermind behind the walker, spent his day off with two other Home Depot dads to complete the project. When asked how he designed it, he said, “I used the foam around the edges to make it soft. Rope to secure the seat. Reflective tape on it to kind of help it stand out if they’re out in public or something, so that way you can see him.”

Silus with his handmade walker
Silus with his handmade walker. Credit: Fox 4 News

The team, fueled by their desire to help Johnson and his grandfather, took two days to build a walker that can’t be found on any store shelf.

According to Johnson’s mom, the hand-crafted walker is helping him to do things himself and be a little more independent.

“As soon as we put him in there, you could tell he was happy,” Bindel said. “He started laughing and trying to move his little feet backwards. Everyone was smiling. Maybe a couple little tears here and there.”

The employees at Home Depot designed it to be adjustable on all four sides as well, so the walker can grow with him.

You can watch the full video here.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Rare Disease

Sharon in front of her congressman's office

Why I'm Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone and Into My Congressman's Office for Rare Disease

Rare disease has changed my life in many ways, but the most unexpected recent change has been my interest in laws and political issues regarding health care and treatment options. You see, I am a right brainer. I enjoy and flourish in the arts. I’ve never jumped for joy while taking a math or science [...]
Driving on an empty highway to the sun

Why the 21st Century Cures Act Offers Hope for Rare Disease Patients

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s 21st Century Cures initiative is a bipartisan effort to help speed the development and delivery of new health care treatments and cures in America. There is much to be excited about! Along with a welcome increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food [...]
Erin's son with a sign "I'm one year seizure free"

To Those Who Question Why We Chose Genetic Testing for Our Child

Erin’s son. Right before Christmas last year, we finally got our diagnosis for Abram, UBE2A deficiency syndrome. Our path to get an answer seemed arduous, but when it finally arrived, I felt relief. Our genetic counselor told us we were the first case the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago had ever seen. We [...]
Nicole's daughter

When I Hear These 3 Words as a Special Needs Parent

Josie. Is it possible, for what kids with FoxG1 lack in terms of cognitive and physical ability, they make up for in cuteness and sweetness? You might be reading this and thinking, how is there anything cute about a severe, rare, neurological condition that hinders the ability for children to do most things? Well, let me [...]