Nearly 40 lucky kiddos will be trick-or-treating in style, sporting their brand new, absolutely epic wheelchair costumes built by Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit that teams with volunteers across the country to create the elaborate ensembles fitted for their chairs.
“It impacts these kids in a deeper way than just the smile on their face,” Magic Wheelchair’s founder, Ryan Weimer of Kaizer, Oregon, told ABC News. “That’s one of the beautiful things of what we do. They really get the sense of what true joy is.”
Weimer was inspired to launch the nonprofit in 2015 after gaining recognition for the wheelchair costumes he built for his own sons, Keaton, 12, and Bryce, 6, both of whom were born with spinal muscular atrophy.
“For him, it was the ultimate inclusion in the holiday,” Weimer said about Keaton’s confidence wearing the first costume he built in 2008. In the past, he’s transformed their wheelchairs into dragons from the animated hit, How to Train Your Dragon, and other popular films.
“What was really, really amazing about it, that barrier of the disability seemed to be swallowed up in that costume,” Weimer said, adding, for the first time ever, people saw his son before they noticed his disability.
“It was almost like a cure for the day,” said the proud dad. “That awkwardness wrapped around the disability was gone for people.
With the skill of both professional and top amateur prop-makers donating their time, the company has gone on to create far more elaborate costumes, such as transforming one wheelchair into a rugged vehicle being towed by a running raptor from Jurassic World, and another into a fabulous sled for a little Princess Anna from Frozen, and another into Fluffy, the three-headed dog, for a young wheelchair-bound Harry Potter fan.