One couple is taking Halloween costumes to a whole new level for kids in wheelchairs.
Being in a wheelchair doesn't mean you can't have a great costume this Halloween! Lots of parents have made amazing costumes for their kids over the years—check out our slideshow to see a Batmobile, Dr. Who's blue police box, the house from the movie Up, and more. But the awesomeness doesn't stop there!
Ryan and Linda Weimer, parents of five kids and founders of the nonprofit Magic Wheelchair, have taken building costumes to a whole new level. Three of the Weimer's five children have a form of muscular dystrophy called spinal muscular atrophy, and the creative parents have been creating epic Halloween costumes for their kids since 2008. They started Magic Wheelchair to take the magic beyond their own family and to "put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair by transforming their wheelchairs into awesomeness," according to the website. They've transformed wheelchairs into pirate ships, dragons, horses wearing armor, and more, while the kids in the wheelchairs have turned into pirate captains, dragon riders, and knights. (How cute are these kids?)
It's a labor of love that relies on donations and volunteers. Each year the Weimers select as many kids as they can (based on donations raised) and create costumes for them. To apply for next year, kids (with their parents' permission, of course!) can submit a 1- to 3-minute video telling the Weimers what they want to be for Halloween and why they should be selected. The Weimers plan to review the submissions and select five children, who will then work with designers and builders to create the ultimate wheelchair costume in time for Halloween.
What an incredible vision! I love when parents of kids with special needs take something that might be seen as a disability—a wheelchair, in this case—and make it into the vessel for something unforgettable. Way to go, Weimer family, and keep up the good work!
Jamie Pacton lives near Portland where she drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons. Find her at www.jamiepacton.com, Facebook (Jamie Pacton), and Twitter @jamiepacton.