This Dad Is Creating Unbelievable Costumes For Kids In Wheelchairs

Ryan Weimer’s son, Keaton, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when he was 9 months old. As a result of SMA, Keaton had to use a wheelchair.  When Ryan asked his son what he wanted to be for Halloween, Keaton said he wanted to be a pirate. That’s when the light bulb went off for Ryan:

A couple days later I had one of those moments when my brain decides it’s the best time for thinking – this usually seems to happen way too early in the morning when I should be sleeping or in the shower – but during this magical thinking moment I realized, “Keaton has this wheelchair he cruises around in, and every pirate needs a ship, so let’s just build one around  his chair!”     -Ryan Weimer, MagicWheelchair.org

The costume was so popular that Ryan launched a nonprofit called Magic Wheelchair to create amazing costumes for other kids in wheelchairs.

Today, there are 18 teams of volunteer builders. “This year, thanks to the help of some incredible volunteers, we have been able to spread around the country,” Wendy Barrett, a friend of Magic Wheelchair, told Simplemost. In 2016, they plan to build 25 costumes in 11 different states.

In order to be selected, the kids have to submit a short video describing their idea.   Those that are accepted get to watch their dream become reality.

 

Here’s come cool photos from the designs they create:

dragon-wheelchair
Facebook | Magic Wheelchair

 

Watch This 92-Year-Old Man Sing To His Dying Wife

This touching video seems to be a scene straight out of The Notebook. 92-year old Howard is seen singing “You’ll Never Know” by Rosemary Clooney with Harry James to his wife Laura.

Filmed by the couple’s granddaughter, Erin Solari, she expressed that she recorded this tender exchange to capture their final moments together. According to Erin’s comments on her YouTube video, the couple was still madly love and this was their love song. When Howard went away to fight in WWII, this song comforted Laura. And at family gathering’s they often sang it together.

In fact, after fifty years of marriage, they renewed their vows and performed this song as a duet for the entire family at the reception. Sadly, Grandma is now too weak to sing, but that doesn’t stop her from saying the words to him (see at 1:00).

When she cannot continue the song, Howard gently takes over and sings the remainder of the tune. The best part about this story is in Erin’s update below:

After posting this video to Facebook, it began to go viral and all the outpouring of love lifted everyone’s spirits… including Grandma’s! Hospice eventually deemed her well enough to go back home to live out her remaining few days. As of this posting my beautiful Grandma Laura Virginia is still with us resting peacefully at home. Our family along with the wonderful people from hospice are taking care of her and making sure she remains as pain-free and comfortable as possible while she prepares for her nearing departure. We all thank you so much for the love and kind words.

 

Here is the full song from the clip. “You’ll Never Know” performed by Rosemary Clooney and Harry James:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkIszER1tn4

True love is a beautiful thing.

Nike Has Soul When They Create Flyease For Teenager With Cerebral Palsy

Warning: Get ready to cry (but in a very good way). At some point, it seems all teenage boys want a pair of Nikes, but 16-year-old Matthew Walzer is different. He has cerebral palsy and, though he may have wanted some Nikes, he couldn’t tie them himself. So, a few years ago, he wrote to the company.

Here are some excerpts from his letter:

…I have overcome many challenges in my life. Although doctors from the country’s top hospitals told my parents that I would never walk; and if I ever talked I would have a major lisp, these diagnoses proved to be false, I walk somewhat independently around my home and use crutches when I’m out or at school…

…Out of all the challenges I have overcome in my life, there is one that I am still trying to master, tying my shoes. Cerebral palsy stiffens the muscles in the body. As a result I have flexibility in only one of my hands which makes it impossible for me to tie my shoes. My dream is to go to the college of my choice without having to worry about someone coming to tie my shoes every day.

I’ve worn Nike basketball shoes all my life. I can only wear this type of shoe because I need ankle support to walk. I am currently wearing the Lunar hyper gamer and LeBron Zoom Soldier 6’s. At 16 years old, I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes. As a teenager who is striving to become totally self-sufficient, I find this extremely frustrating, and at times, embarrassing…

…If Nike would design and produce basketball and running shoes with moderate support and some kind of closure system that could be used by everyone, Nike could create a shoe line that attracts people that face the same physical challenges I did and still do, yet it could still be possible for anyone to wear them. I am always searching the web for any type of shoe brand that makes athletic shoes that provide good support, are self-lacing and are made for everyday wear or for playing sports…

…This letter is not a business proposal. I am simply making you aware that there is a need for this type of athletic shoe, a great need. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. No matter what challenges I’ve faced in my life, I’ve always strived to be independent, independence is for everyone.

Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, gave the letter to Tobie Hatfield, senior director of athlete innovation, and the shoe-designing journey began.

The (laceless) LeBron Zoom Soldier 8 Flyease provides an effortless way to put on the shoes and has the support Walzer was concerned about. The wearer of the shoe can use one hand to use the zipper. It may look like a slip-on shoe, but it wraps around the back.