You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Oregon family creates Halloween costumes for kids in wheelchairs


A nonprofit organization started by an Oregon-based family seeks to put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair.

Ryan and Lana Weimer, the founders of Magic Wheelchair, have five children, three of whom were born with spinal muscular atrophy, which requires the use of wheelchairs their whole lives.

>> Read more trending stories  

Ryan Weimer wrote on the nonprofit's website that he and his son were talking years ago about Halloween costumes. His son said he wanted to be pirate.

"During a magical thinking moment I realized, 'Keaton has this wheelchair he cruises around in, and every pirate needs a ship, so let's just build one around his chair,'" Weimer wrote.

Since then, Weimer has made the biggest, "baddest" costumes possible for his sons, Keaton and Bryce. 

"When you know that you have few memories to make with your kids, you want to make priceless ones," Weimer told NBC News.

Once news of the costumes spread, Ryan began receiving requests from parents around the world asking if he would transform their children's wheelchairs into "magic."

The Weimer family project became a hugely successful nonprofit, called Magic Wheelchair. The group has made costumes in which wheelchairs have been transformed into a Mario Kart, a SpongeBob boat, a "Frozen" ice castle and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles van.

"Giving families and kids those experiences that we've been able to have year after year, it's awesome. I love it,” Weimer told BuzzFeed News last year. "My kids are seen as superstars and not looked at with sympathetic eyes or sadness."

Teams of volunteers in communities nationwide help build the incredible costumes and create unforgettable moments for children during Halloween. It takes hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to make children's dreams come true through the project.

"When we have challenges and trials and hard times, those are the things that define us," Weimer told NBC. "It doesn't matter your circumstances, you can still make beautiful things ... and it's great to see other people get behind that." 

Magic Wheelchair made eight costumes for children last year, two in Georgia and six in Oregon.

Weimer said he doesn't want Magic Wheelchair to make the costumes for Halloween only. He told ABC News that the group wants children to "roll in (the decorated wheelchairs) all year round" and to even "go shopping with Mom in a dragon."

"It's not a cure," Weimer, who has also worked as a nurse, told Buzzfeed. "I wish I was smart enough to come up with something like that. It's a cure for a day. It helps them forget. It helps other people see them as kids, and not just a kid in a wheelchair."

Posted by Magic Wheelchair on Saturday, March 21, 2015
Posted by Magic Wheelchair on Monday, January 25, 2016

Look at his face!

Posted by Magic Wheelchair on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Swan Princess beings her baller

Posted by Magic Wheelchair on Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Before the lights turned on!

Posted by Magic Wheelchair on Monday, November 2, 2015
Posted by Magic Wheelchair on Thursday, June 4, 2015

Brianna Chambers contributed to this story.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 

It’s the end of an era.  After 146 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding up the big tent forever, shuttering the ticket windows and putting the animals out to pasture. The circus has been a staple of American entertainment since the mid-1800s, wowing audiences with an array of exotic animals, breathtaking acrobatics...
Explosives fail to bring down Ohio’s tallest bridge
Explosives fail to bring down Ohio’s tallest bridge

A third attempt to demolish the remnants of the state’s tallest bridge failed Sunday so crews will use cranes to dismantle the former Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County. Ohio Department of Transportation Press Secretary Matt Bruning said they are finished trying to blow the old bridge down. “After a demolition blast on Sunday morning...
Body found in Grand Canyon likely boy swept away with step-grandmother
Body found in Grand Canyon likely boy swept away with step-grandmother

Grand Canyon National Park officials said Friday that a body found is likely that of a 14-year-old hiker who went missing in the park two weeks ago with his step-grandmother. According to the New York Post, Jackson Standefer of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was swept away along with LouAnn Merrell when the two were crossing a creek on April 15...
Masonic home celebrating 125 years
Masonic home celebrating 125 years

The Springfield Masonic Community is celebrating 125 years and is promoting recent renovations to its facilities on the historic Springfield campus. Originally built in 1892, the Springfield Masonic Community provides a range of services to residents 55 and older, including skilled nursing, rehabilitation, post-acute care and extended-care services...
Warm, muggy conditions before showers, storms start the week
Warm, muggy conditions before showers, storms start the week

We’ll see partly to mostly cloudy skies today and a good chunk of the afternoon will be dry, but a few stray showers, maybe a thunderstorm, cannot be ruled out. Few showers possible during the day today Widespread showers and storms overnight tonight Cooler temperatures this week TODAY: Anything that develops in the Miami Valley and Southwest...
More Stories