When little Keaton asked if he could be a pirate for Halloween, dad knew he had to find a way to make it happen.
It would be a bit of a challenge, since Ryan Weimer’s son needs a wheelchair to get around. But with a little creativity and a lot of heart, Ryan was able to build a costume that incorporated the chair itself as the actual ship with which Keaton the pirate could plunder treats.
The costume ended up being the talk of the town, and a photo of Captain Keaton made it to the front page of their local Portland, Oregon newspaper.
Following that October success in 2008, Weimer decided to create a nonprofit that would make every kid in a wheelchair the most envied in the neighborhood at Halloween. Magic Wheelchair volunteers have since been helping construct these costumes, making fantastic memories for kids whenever its trick-or-treat time.
Three out of five of Weimer’s children have been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, so the kids have been around wheelchairs most of their lives. It’s been their father’s goal to give them that one special day out of the year when being wheelchair-bound is an asset, not a disability.
This year, Magic Wheelchairs took to Kickstarter asking for donations to fund five lucky kids’ Halloween costumes with a goal of raising $15,000. The innovative team surged past their goal, collecting over $25,000 dollars for this year’s batch of Halloween costumes.
To be chosen as a wheelchair costume recipient, a child – with their parents permission – can make and submit a 1-3 minute video explaining what they want to be for Halloween and why they should be chosen.
Another Dad Builds “Awesome” Giant Swing so Daughter in Wheelchair Can Play
Mary Nelson may be confined to a wheelchair, but she can feel the breeze in her hair now, too–since her father built a roll-on swing set for her.
Mary, who has a type of muscular atrophy and needs the wheelchair and a breathing tube to get around, couldn’t climb into a regular playground swing, and the nearest wheelchair accessible playground was more than 10 miles away.
Her dad, Ryan, who has a background in mechanical engineering, drew up plans for a swing that could hold her and her 450 pound wheelchair. (In the photo, he hasn’t attached the latch yet that will hold the ramp in place.)