Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization founded by Ryan and Lana Weimer that transforms children’s wheelchairs into costumes that would make any trick-or-treater envious. The Weimers’ goal is to put a smile on the face of every child who uses a wheelchair. They create unforgettable Halloween costumes for kids at no charge to their families.
Three of the Weimers’ five children were born with a form of Muscular Dystrophy called Spinal Muscular Atrophy and will need to use wheelchairs throughout their entire lives. The Weimers’ first child, Keaton, was diagnosed with SMA when he was nine months old.
In 2008, Ryan asked Keaton what he wanted to be for Halloween. Keaton said he wanted to be a pirate, and Ryan decided to design a pirate ship around Keaton’s wheelchair so he could “sail” around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. Keaton was thrilled, and he even made the front page of the local newspaper. Making custom Halloween costumes turned into an annual family tradition.
The Weimers created Magic Wheelchair to provide Halloween costumes for other children with disabilities. The wheelchair costumes have been so successful that they have been featured in newspapers and on television. The Weimers have raised money to create more Halloween costumes through a very successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign.
Magic Wheelchair wants to be able to create awesome Halloween wheelchairs for any child who wants one. Children choose their costumes, and Magic Wheelchair showcases each child’s uniqueness and individuality.
Children, with their parents’ permission, submit a one- to three-minute video telling what they want to be for Halloween and why they believe they should be selected for the Magic Wheelchair Build. The Weimers and their team of volunteers review the submissions and choose five children to receive wheelchair costumes. They then work with designers and builders to customize the wheelchairs for Halloween.
Magic Wheelchair is a wonderful organization that has made Halloween a magical holiday for many children in need. By creating unique costumes for children who use wheelchairs, the Weimers have allowed children to have fun with their friends and families and to enjoy one of the best parts of being a child.