As the fall season approaches many people are beginning to consider Halloween costumes. For some, this presents more challenges than for others.
In Oregon, Ryan Weimer had struggled with his three children wanting to participate in Halloween. With them all all having spinal muscular atrophy or Muscular Dystrophy (which Weimer reminds us is associated with the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS) they couldn’t fit fit into the conventional Halloween costumes sold in stores because of their dependence on wheelchairs. Out of this conundrum, Magic Wheelchair was born.
Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization begun by Ryan Weimer and his wife Lana to construct custom Halloween costumes that fit over or around wheelchairs. Examples of projects they have executed to date are a transformer, the dragon from popular movie How To Train Your Dragon, a pirate ship, a dinosaur, and a steed for a knight. After people in the neighborhood, including a reporter from his local Oregon newspaper, saw the creativity and opportunity Weimer had uncovered for children in wheelchairs, the news spread throughout the state and farther.
Magic Wheelchair’s slogan is “Putting a Smile on the Face of Every Child,” and their vision and ambition seek to make this statement true. On their website, www.magicwheelchair.org, there is a page where any child in a wheelchair can apply and upload a video describing what they want and a little about themselves. They could be chosen to be one of the lucky dozens, a number which increases with every donation, to receive a custom Halloween costume that year. There is also a place on the same website where anyone can donate or support the cause and what the Weimers have begun in order to spread the magic around the country for children on a beloved holiday.