Ryan Weimer is the proud dad of five wonderful children. He and his wife, Lana, are probably some of the busiest people on the planet (as anyone with a motley crew of adorable little ones will tell you), but they always do their best to ensure that they put their kids’ needs above their own.
While that may sound like an apt description for any large family, the Weimer gang is anything but ordinary. They face a unique set of challenges, since three of their five kids were born with a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). To help his children lead happier lives, Weimer started a wonderful project that would eventually go on to help children across the country.
It all started just before Halloween a few years ago, when Weimer’s oldest son, Keaton, asked if he could dress up as a pirate that year.
Although that may sound like a simple request, designing Halloween costumes for kids with SMA is tough, since they’re often wheelchair bound.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Weimer set out to create the most epic pirate costume that the world had ever seen. While brainstorming different concepts, he decided that he’d incorporate Keaton’s wheelchair by turning it into his very own ship!
“What kid wouldn’t love having a pirate ship to roll deep in, sailing through the streets, collecting Halloween booty?” Weimer writes. “He even made the front page of the newspaper!”
Keaton’s amazing costume was an instant hit! And you best believe that the other kids wanted their wheelchairs decked out, too.
After seeing how happy these costumes made his kids on Halloween, Weimer decided that he would make it his mission to provide that same sense of pride and happiness to wheelchair-bound kids across the country. That’s when Magic Wheelchair was born.
Magic Wheelchair’s goal is simple.
“Our vision,” Weimer writes, “is to put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair by transforming [the chairs] into awesomeness created by our hands, and their imaginations.”
And that’s exactly what they do.
Every year around this time, the Weimers and a group of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that each request that’s been accepted by Magic Wheelchair is completed in time for trick-or-treating.
Everyone knows that dinosaurs are the coolest. It’s a fact.
These costumes help children feel strong and powerful.
Sitting astride a flaming dragon will do that to you, you know?
What’s even cooler is that children can submit their own video requests. If selected, Magic Wheelchair will help them transform into their favorite characters.
If you know a little one who would love Magic Wheelchair’s help next Halloween, all you have to do is visit their website and go through the simple application process.
(via My Modern Met)
What started as a Halloween challenge to make one little boy smile has turned into an incredible project that helps brave kids all over the country feel their best on the spookiest day of the year. To learn more about Magic Wheelchair’s inspiring work, check out their website. If you’re interested in what you can do to help, visit their volunteer page!
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