We all love stuff. But chances are, you don't love anything as much as young TJ Burns loves elevators. TJ, 12, is nicknamed "TJ Elevator Fan," because, well, he's a pretty big fan of elevators.
TJ started life off in a bad way with numerous health issues, including mild cerebral palsy and a hole in his heart. According to his mom, doctor's visits and physical therapy trips were tough, and as a reward, she would let TJ ride the elevators.
Thus was the start of a beautiful friendship between the young boy and every elevator he could find. He knows what the shape of the buttons signify, he knows all the brands, and his loving parents have made several trips around the country to indulge TJ in his unique expertise.
According to TJ's own website, he and his family started filming the trips and posting them to YouTube in 2009. Now, TJ has thousands of fans -- not the least of whom are the folks at Hampton Inn.
Last summer, Hampton Inn approached TJ and his family about being in a video for their campaign, "Hamptonality" (TJ's spot was called "Elevated Hamptonality," naturally). Digital ad agency iCrossing created a collage of heartwarming little moments: TJ and Hampton Inn employees hanging out, getting to work, and, of course, riding in elevators.
TJ's parents, Jeff and Julie, say they totally understand the joy their son gets out of something so simple, and they share in that joy as well.
"I think going through what we did, it makes you really appreciate the fact that he's alive, and he made it, and it's just a celebration of life," Julie says.