The Short of It
Ryan and Lana Weimer, parents of three children who are wheelchair-bound due to spinal muscular atrophy, have started a nonprofit that helps create epic Halloween costumes for wheelchair-bound kids.
The Oregon parents started handcrafting cool Halloween costumes for their son Keaton nearly seven years ago, when he first became wheelchair bound—and they spend more than 100 hours each year crafting their kids' wheelchairs into pirate boats, dragons, and other magical vessels. The endeavor led them to found Magic Wheelchairs, a nonprofit that's dedicated to helping build similar costumes for other kids. They've made everything from Toothless, the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon, to a Frozen ice castle, with the help and creativity of volunteer crafters. Kids who are in wheelchairs can submit short videos with their dream costume ideas, and perhaps get chosen as one of the kids the organization will help this year.
"It is important to us that the costumes are not just another Halloween costume," Ryan says on the site. "Being in a wheelchair can be tough, so we want to make something epic of which the kids and designers can be proud. The costumes tend to be expensive and time consuming to make—but when they're done, they are the coolest costumes in town."
Who wouldn't want to ride a grand steed or a dragon out trick-or-treating? These costumes are amazing—and a wonderful tribute to the love and dedication of Ryan and Lana. They're limited right now to 5 to 8 kids per year, based on their current funding and volunteer force—but they're hoping to grow to allow more kids to have an epic Halloween.