It’s not every day that you find a Kickstarter project that’s as heartwarming as it is fun and creative. But then again, it’s not every day that someone comes up with an amazing idea like the Magic Wheelchair, self-described as a “nonprofit organization that turns wheelchairs into the envy of every trick-or-treater.” Because children in wheelchairs can be limited in terms of the types of costumes they can don come Halloween, the Magic Wheelchair seeks to integrate the wheelchair into the costume itself, transforming the entire apparatus into a moving manifestation of incredible fantasy.
The brains behind the Magic Wheelchair, Ryan & Lana Weimer, began the project as a personal endeavor for their own children, three of whom are confined to wheelchairs as a result of their spinal muscular atrophy. In 2008, Ryan asked one of his sons what he wanted to be for Halloween, and when he answered, “a pirate,” Weimer began constructing a costume that involved not only clothing, but a ship as well. Now, seven years later, the Weimers are applying the same grandiose concept to kids all over the world, and they recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund it all.
The Magic Wheelchair website explains, “Kids, with their parents’ permission, submit a 1-3 minute video telling us what they want to be for Halloween and why they should be selected … We will review the submissions and select 5 children, who will then work with designers and builders to create the ultimate wheelchair costume in time for Halloween!”
With the inherent challenges that come from being in a wheelchair, the team behind this incredible initiative wanted to be sure that at least once a year, children were able to view their chairs not as a crutch, but as an integral part of a whole new world of creation and creativity. “It is important to us,” the Magic Wheelchair notes, “that the costumes are not just another Halloween costume … we want to make something epic of which the kids and designers can be proud.” And with costumes like these, there is plenty to be proud of.
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