Teen with spina bifida sees Halloween costume built just for him - KPTV - FOX 12

Teen with spina bifida sees Halloween costume built just for him

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Hunter Powers, in his epic Halloween costume from Magic Wheelchair. Hunter Powers, in his epic Halloween costume from Magic Wheelchair.
Hunter Powers, in his epic Halloween costume from Magic Wheelchair. Hunter Powers, in his epic Halloween costume from Magic Wheelchair.
EUGENE, OR (KPTV) -

14-year-old Hunter Powers couldn’t wait.

He knew he was about to get an epic Halloween costume built just for him, and he’d been waiting months to see it.

Unlike most kids, Halloween has never been a particularly fun day for him.

He gets around in a wheelchair; he was born with spina bifida and isn’t strong enough to walk. 

“Usually when Hunter trick-or-treats, he can’t even get up to people’s door,” his mother, Ginger Kanwischer, told Fox 12.  “Most people don’t even see him.”

But this year, Hunter was one of eight children in wheelchairs selected for epic Halloween costumes from the Keizer-based nonprofit Magic Wheelchair.

It was started by Ryan and Lana Weimer, after they built costumes for their own children who have spinal muscular atrophy.

They saw the transformation it created in their little hearts, allowing them to forget their physical limitations and be anything or anyone their minds could imagine.

They launched the nonprofit earlier this year, knowing they wanted other families to have the same experience.

The first Magic Wheelchair costume to be revealed was Hunter’s.

After a lot of anticipation and butterflies, his big moment finally came Friday evening.

Hunter was carried out of his Eugene home – blindfolded – to check out his new set of wheels.

The reveal left him nearly speechless.

“Awesome!” he declared, looking at the creation.

His wheelchair was transformed into a Quinjet, the stealth transportation from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hunter was dressed for the part as his favorite spy character, Agent Phil Coulson.

“Thank you very much, it’s the best costume ever,” Hunter said.

It was a labor of love for Jeff Watamura, a volunteer who heard about Magic Wheelchair and wanted to help.

He’s an art teacher at El Diamente High School in Visalia, California, and his students spent the last couple of months building it.

Thursday, he made the 12 hour drive to deliver it.

“It’s always been from day one about Hunter, and the kids know who Hunter is, they’ve seen pictures of him, and now they get to see this and it’s going to be pretty exciting,” Watamura told Fox 12.

He can’t count the hours put into designing and building it, but knows every minute was worth it.

“It’s foam core, I had a freshman who designed it with a 3-D program,” he explained.  “We had somebody cut it out professionally, and then we used epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth to coat it so it’s a little harder, and then we just put some windows in it and a fog machine and here we are.”

“It means a lot… for him to have this, and get all the attention, it’s really cool,” Hunter’s mom, Ginger, added.  “I just pictured some little cardboard costume I’ve seen online or something, so this, it blows our mind.  It’s way more than we ever thought.”

Over the next week, the seven other costumes that have been designed and built this year through Magic Wheelchair will be revealed.

They’ll be going to kids in Portland, Salem, Banks – and as far away as Georgia.

“That smile, that’s what it’s all about.  The biggest reward and payoff is just see that – that smile,” said Magic Wheelchair founder Ryan Weimer, looking at Hunter’s reaction.  “I’ve seen it on my kids’ faces, but now being able to help out other families and other kiddos, it’s super humbling.”

To learn more, visit MagicWheelchair.org.

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