Ryan and Lana Weimer have five kids, three of whom have been in wheelchairs their entire lives due to muscular dystrophy. Every year, Ryan asks his kids what they’d like to be for Halloween. And every year, he makes the “biggest baddest” costume he can for them.
You may have seen the Weimer family costumes online before. Last year, Ryan made a Toothless costume from the How To Train Your Dragon films for his son Keaton. The costume went viral, spreading across the internet and even the news. “When kids see him, they don’t see him as a kid in a wheelchair. They see him as a kid riding a dragon. And that’s awesome,” said Ryan.
This year, the family is expanding their yearly tradition beyond just themselves by creating a nonprofit called Magic Wheelchair. Ryan and a team of volunteers will help make other wheelchair costumes for other kids across the country.
If you want to donate to their cause, you can at their website http://www.magicwheelchair.org. If you know a kid who wants a wheelchair costume, you can apply to receive a free one by making a one minute video in which the kid tells what creative costume he or she wants and why. Videos can be submitted through the Magic Wheelchair website.
“They’ve been dealt a rough hand, but they’re kids and they want to smile,” said Tammy Hay, a board member for Magic Wheelchair. “We just want to bridge gaps, and create awareness, and put huge smiles on kids’ faces, and let them fly around on a dragon.”