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A mother from Georgia took to her Facebook page to give a high praise to her local Chick-fil-a restaurant for playing with her son.
The Columbus location does a themed night for the kids and on July 22, the them was “Galaxy Night” where Darth showed up and kids were running around with lightsabers dueling each other for fun and games.

It was at “Galaxy Night” when Kari Merriken took her little 8-year old son who is in a wheelchair with spinal muscular atrophy to enjoy what little kids enjoy, lightsabers and other kids… it wasn’t a sight that a parent wants to witness, but Kari said on Facebook, “When my son asked some boys in the play area if he could join them, the response was, ‘No we’re good.'”
As a mom she knew what she had to do, she said, “As a mom, it breaks you heart. So I dove over there to get one of the lightsabers” because she knew that it was time for momma to start a duel with her son for fun.
“The next thing I know, out comes Darth Vader,” Kari said. “They said something like, ‘We heard you can’t find any worthy opponents, ‘ and they started battling with him.”
The man dressed as Darth Vader was Derek Rains and he said, “[I was] just trying to make a good experience for everybody. I grabbed my lightsaber and played around with him, and let him defeat us. He’s a sweet kid.”
Alex Vann, the owner of that Chik-fil-A location said, “I’m super proud of our team for being aware there are folks that do have special needs. We can really bring a remarkable experience for somebody.”
Kari said, “It happens to all kids, we’ve all experience it. It’s a little harder hen you have a kid with special needs. It could have been a bad experience [but] I remember him telling somebody after the event, ‘I battled Darth Vader and my Jedi instructor.'”
The month of August is Spinal Muscular Awareness (SMA) month and to learn more about it go to

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