Every year, the Pop Culture Hall of Fame recognizes a charity that provides great services in the context of pop culture. for 2021, we’ve chosen Magic Wheelchair, which creates amazing costumes for kids in wheelchairs.
To be specific, the costume is for the wheelchair itself. Sure, any kid can be Batman for Halloween… but how many get their own Batmobile? Magic Wheelchair takes the idea of a costume for these kids and tailors their efforts to match the wheelchair.
Maybe a car, an airplane, a chariot, a pony… the sky’s the limit, really.
“My first son, Keaton, was diagnosed at 9 months old with SMA and this diagnosis has forever changed our family and how we do things,” said Ryan “The Dude” Weimer, founder of Magic Wheelchair. “We have to look at life through a different set of lenses than the average man or woman. That’s what really set this whole project in motion when Keaton got his first wheelchair.”
In 2008, Keaton wanted to be a pirate, and what pirate wouldn’t want a cool ship? Weimer set about creating a cardboard body for the wheelchair, which made his son the envy of the neighborhood. That effort led to an annual quest to top the previous ones, and then inspiration hit.
Keaton decided to recruit builders and volunteers around the country to help more kids with disabilities dress up their rides. And the results are way beyond those early efforts. The designs are elaborate, high-quality, head-turning builds. People stop and stare, but for a whole new reason.
It’s not just for Halloween. When comics conventions are back at full strength, kids will want to emulate their favorite characters. Hey, if Wonder Woman is in a wheelchair, she still needs an invisible jet to get around the convention center. Magic Wheelchair to the rescue!
“I don’t believe that there are any goals, dreams, or aspirations in life that can’t be achieved,” said Weimer. For that extra bit of magic and hope, Magic Wheelchair deserves to be in the Pop Culture Hall of Fame.
Magic Wheelchair is always looking for volunteers and donors. To learn more about Magic Wheelchair or to donate, please visit www.magicwheelchair.org.