Wheelchairs are continuously redesigned, transformed and improved in order to cater to the many different needs of its users. With today’s technology, anything can be done or created; from rowing wheelchairs and standing wheelchairs to wheels with double casters and wheels with a built-in walker. But nothing beats a wheelchair that looks like an elephant or a Pokémon.
A lovely couple from Oregon has been known for creatively transforming the wheelchairs of their sons into magical rides like a pirate ship, a dragon, or a friendly monster. They wanted their kids to feel like dragon-riders or superheroes and enjoy their wheelchair ride.
Ryan Weimer, the father of Keaton and Bryce, said that it was difficult for him and his wife, Lana, to watch their kids go through some hard times. That is why making and seeing them smile is very important to them.
Keaton and his younger brother, Bryce, have spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects nerve cells, known as motor neurons, in the spinal cord. The condition affects the control of muscle movement.
It has been the couple’s Halloween tradition to transform the kids’ wheelchairs into enchanting rides, mystical creatures, or cute animals. In this way, the youngsters can join in the fun other kids have during the yearly celebration.
But the Oregon couple’s annual tradition caught the world’s attention. The smile, enjoyment and delight their sons display when riding their wheelchair/pirate-ship or Pokémon-inspired mobility device are just profound. Their idea of converting the wheelchairs into something awesome brought happiness to the youngsters. And that is what parents and families of kids with SMAs also desire.
Knowing what it feels like to see kids genuinely beam with happiness because of their magical wheelchair ride, Ryan and his wife are extending their gift to the world. They have created a non-profit charity known as Magic Wheelchair wherein they aim to put a smile on every kid using a wheelchair.
Every year, the organization grants five children their own magic wheelchairs. The kids will be selected through video submissions. Ryan and his team will personally do the wheelchair transformation.
Putting a smile on the face of a child is no longer a herculean task for parents. With the magic wheelchair, every kid can experience the magic.