Seth Van Nostrand and friends are all smiles on Crazy Dress Day at McLouth Elementary School.
MCLOUTH, Kan. (WIBW) - If there is a kid who can see the fun in being a little different, it's Seth Van Nostrand.
Seth and his family started Crazy Dress Day at McLouth Elementary School six years ago.
They hope it helps students see life through the eyes of a kid with MPS.
The genetic disorder, also known as severe Hunter syndrome, is caused by the body's inability to produce enzymes. The disease is terminal and literally eats away at Seth's bones and damages his vital organs.
"I want [students] to know that being an MPS is hard," Seth said. "You get sick easily and quickly and you get a lot of surgeries."
Seth has gone through 55 surgeries since he was diagnosed MPS Type II at the age of four. He suffers pain all over his body, a speech impediment and is legally deaf, but can read lips. He tries to get out of his wheelchair as much as he can.
On Crazy Dress Day this Tuesday, he was all smiles, greeting old friends and teachers.
Donning a wild headdress or outrageous footwear, students went all out in support of their friend.
"It's a great opportunity to show support for Seth. He's an inspiration and he's just a great kid overall," Mark Dodge, McLouth elementary's principal, said. "I think it's a great way for the community to rally around him."
Misty and Corey Van Nostrand, Seth's parents, say they want to raise awareness of MPS not just for Seth's sake, but to promote acceptance of all children with disabilities.
During the all day event, and throughout the years, they have visited classrooms and talked to students about what it's like to have a disability.
And although his time is limited, Seth's parents encourage others to take all the time they need to approach children like him.
"Every time you see something different, you're going to automatically look at the difference. That's just how humans are," Seth's father said. "But take as much time as you can, to just get over that little hurdle, that little bump, and then just look at the person as who they are."
Seth's doctors estimate his life expectancy to be his mid to late teens.
His parents say they are taking life minute by minute. Their philosophy, they say, is that it's about quality not quantity.