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This Dad Makes Halloween Costumes For Youngsters in Wheelchairs–and You NEED to See Them

Friday, October 20th 2017. | Tips and Tricks


When Ryan Weimer, 38, a nurse in Portland, Oregon, came upon that his first son Keaton was recognized with spinal muscular atrophy at simply 9 months previous, he nervous his boy can be endlessly outlined by his incapacity.

A type of muscular dystrophy that impacts motor nerve cells within the spinal twine, SMA might take away Keaton’s capacity to stroll, eat, and even breathe. Weimer resolved to offer his son one of the best life potential—which is why, when Keaton was three years previous and informed his father he needed to be a pirate for Halloween, Weimer introduced out the woodworking instruments.

As an alternative of merely clothes his son in a well-known pirate hat and eye-patch, Weimer constructed a picket, 5-foot-lengthy pirate ship round his Keaton’s wheelchair, full with black sails, a treasure chest, and a scurvy parrot perched on the rigging. Keaton’s costume not solely made headlines within the native newspaper, however immediately modified the best way individuals noticed him. (Did you hear concerning the inspirational water park for individuals with disabilities?)

“[People] noticed my son earlier than they noticed his incapacity,” Weimer advised Reader’s Digest over the telephone. “For me to see that—I obtained choked up and instantly. I knew that this was one thing I needed different households to have the ability to expertise.”


Constructing costumes for Keaton turned an annual custom. After a number of years, Weimer upped his recreation by subscribing to the Stan Winston Faculty of Character Arts, a useful resource of prop-constructing classes based by the studio that gave us the cyborgs from Terminator and the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, amongst different basic creatures. Quickly Weimer was constructing dragons and drag racers with skilled talent—and on the lookout for methods to broaden his attain past his household.

In 2014, Weimer based Magic Wheelchair, a non-revenue that builds and donates epic costumes to disabled youngsters between the ages of 5 and 18. Funded by donations and manned by volunteers (together with fellow members from The Stan Winston Faculty), Weimer’s group invests upwards of $four,000 and one hundred twenty man hours per costume to create magic for disabled youngsters on Halloween. (These heartwarming tales will restore your religion in humanity.)


And better of all: Because of an incredible response across the nation, Magic Wheelchair is rising. Final yr, Magic Wheelchair had six volunteer groups; in 2016 they’ve 20 groups spanning all the best way from Los Angeles to New York Metropolis—and they won’t cease there.

“Our mission is to construct costumes for each child in a wheelchair,” Weimer says.

From costumes resembling a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Van, to Toothless from the film How To Practice Your Dragon (which is now on show on the Kent State College Museum), the chances are countless for Weimer, his group, and his volunteers from throughout the nation. By way of Magic Wheelchair’s work Weimer hopes to not solely create a constructive influence, but in addition slightly extra empathy and understanding on what it actually means to be a particular wants household.

“Apart from all of the costumes and the grins, we construct connections and group,” Weimer says. “It’s a dream come true to have the ability to assist individuals.” (Listed here are 10 heartwarming pictures that may remind you there’s nonetheless good on the planet.)

To study extra about how one can donate, volunteer and finally create magic for all youngsters with disabilities on Halloween, please go to MagicWheelchair.org


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