HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) On weekends, Cade Perry,20, of Hewitt helps area youngsters celebrate their birthdays as Chuck E. Cheese, the iconic mascot of the popular pizza and entertainment chain, so it should come as no surprise that he wanted to make Chuck E. part of his birthday celebration, too.
As his Aug. 17 birthday approached, Cade Perry made it clear that what he wanted most was Chuck E.—tattooed on his arm. (Courtesy photo)
Cade was born with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up within the fluid-containing cavities of the brain.
The condition has caused severe learning disabilities, but it hasn’t robbed Cade of his zest for life and drive to be all that he can be, and that includes his job as the famous mouse at the pizza place for kids for the past 3 ½ years.
And that’s why, as his Aug. 17 birthday approached, Cade made it clear that what he wanted most was Chuck E.—tattooed on his arm.
“Because I like Chuck E. a whole lot,” Cade said.
“It’s my first job and my dad had a tattoo so I wanted to get one, too.”
Cades parents, Wesley and Kelli, at first weren’t thrilled with the idea and neither were some of those with whom they shared Cade’s birthday wish.
“Some people scoffed at us,” said Wesley Perry, Cade’s dad, “just (telling) me ‘why would you do that to your child?’’
But Cade’s parents quickly shed their reservations.
“Initially his mother and I said no, we just didn’t think he needed one,” Wesley said.
“And then we thought, ‘he’s 20 years old and we’ve always wanted to treat him like any other child despite his special needs. He has a job. He’s a good kid and if he wants to do it, we want him to do it.’”
So Cade and his parents made a trip to a tattoo parlor called Ink, Inc., in McKinney just outside of Dallas, where Kelli’s cousin, Mike Carter, spent two hours making Cade’s birthday dream come true, at no charge.
“It was out of the goodness of his heart,” Wesley said.
Cade choose the “the old school” mouse logo, as he called it, and the artist chose to permanently ink it on his right upper arm to make sure that Cade, who’s blind in his left eye, would be able to see it with his right.
“There was definitely a burning sensation,” Cade remembers, but it was worth it.
Cade has spent the last few weeks showing his permanent birthday present to everyone with whom he comes in contact .
“He shows me at least 20 times a day,” his dad said, laughing.
“It’s hard to let my baby grow up, but we want him to grow up and he is so, so happy.”
“He doesn’t even want to go on vacation, he just wants to go to work because he said he likes making people happy,” he said.
Tattoo artist Mike Carter, meanwhile, was delighted that Cade was pleased with the results.
“As far as the experience it was just so fun watching him get all excited about his first tattoo like we all do and see him in his element having fun,” he said.
“I hope he loves it and comes back if he wants more,” he said.
That might happen.
Cade says he’d like to get another tattoo--a yellow ribbon to honor a friend of his who passed away from childhood cancer.
“That is if my parents say yes,” he added.