Halloween is a special time of year when kids can be whoever they want, from creepy creatures to their favorite TV characters.
But for some, finding the right costume can be a challenge. Take 8-year-old Max of Rhode Island, who has muscular dystrophy. He needed something that could accommodate his wheelchair — and one amazing organization delivered!
This year, Max dressed up as Stinky the garbage truck, his favorite character from Amazon Prime’s “The Stinky & Dirty Show.” The costume, which features headlights and acrylic eyes, was built by Bonnie Regan, a volunteer with the nonprofit Magic Wheelchair.
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Amazon joined in on the fun as well, throwing in custom artwork for the little boy that reads “The Stinky & Dirty & MAX Show!”
Since 2015, Magic Wheelchair has been creating adaptive costumes for children in wheelchairs — for free! Founder Ryan Weimer has two sons with spinal muscular atrophy, so he wanted to make sure his and other children with disabilities always feel included in Halloween festivities.
Our mission is to bring communities together to create unforgettable moments for children around the world by transforming their wheelchairs into magic.
Executive Director Christine Getman has a similar vision:
I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was 2 1/2 years old. As I grew up, some of my most memorable moments were when people really listened to me and validated my voice and ideas. When you’re dealing with chronic illness or serious disabilities, the conversations are always quite serious. So just being seen and heard for the right reasons, and having my ideas validated, that’s been a big driving force in the way we develop our programs and the way we serve out kiddos.
My vision is to not have a waitlist. I want to start building a Magic Wheelchair the minute a kid requests it.
All families have to do is apply for a costume and meet two requirements: the child must be between the ages of 5 and 17 and primarily use a wheelchair. The process takes about eight weeks, but when builder Bonnie saw how much Max loved his creation, it was clearly worth the wait!
The reveal is my favorite part about working with Magic Wheelchair. Getting to see the kids face, and the family’s faces. By far that makes all the effort worth it.
The diving force is knowing there’s a deserving kid waiting for this costume. Sometimes there are long nights and there are challenges that you might not know are going to pop up. Always happens at least once during every build. I think just knowing it’s going to someone that’s really looking forward to it, that really makes it worth it.
What a fun way to promote inclusion and get into the Halloween spirit! Every child deserves to trick-or-treat in style, and this organization is making it happen! You can help spread the magic to other kids in need by donating here.
Watch our interview with the awesome team behind this story below. Share to spread the word to other families who could use a Magic Wheelchair costume!
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